In their final matchup of the season, the Anaheim Ducks (16-30-7) and St. Louis Blues (24-19-7) will face off at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The Blues have earned points in six straight games, most recently in Monday’s 3-1 against the Ducks, who have lost seven of their last nine games.
Monday was St. Louis’ fifth win out of seven meetings against Anaheim this season. It explains why the Blues are huge -275 favorites, whereas the Ducks at +225 underdogs on the road.
By the Numbers
The difference in offense between these teams is staggering, to say the least. The Blues are 13th in the NHL with 2.96 goals per game on 29.5 shots, as well as ninth with a 22.5 power-play percentage. Meanwhile, the Ducks are averaging 2.19 goals per game, second-lowest in hockey, while also averaging a league-low 26.8 shots and 9.2 power-play percentage.
Defensively, the numbers are much closer to each other. St. Louis is 21st in the league with 3.06 goals allowed per game on just under 30 shots but ranks a lowly 28th with a 76.1 penalty kill percentage. Compare that to Anaheim, who is just 23rd with 3.15 goals allowed on 30.7 shots, but sit 15th with a penalty kill percentage a hair below 80 percent.
Players to Watch
Starting with the Ducks, their youth transition has been spearheaded by left wing Max Comtois. After scoring a goal and dishing out an assist on Saturday, Comtois is up to a team-high 30 points including 14 goals for the year.
Comtois has found chemistry with center Trevor Zegras. The 19-year old rookie is starting to find his stride in the closing days, putting up three points last week to give him 10 points in 21 games total.
There are still a couple of veterans Anaheim is hoping to hear from tonight. Left wing Rickard Rakell has gone three straight games without a point but is second behind Comtois with 26 total. There’s also defenseman Cam Fowler, who is third with 22 points but exited Monday’s game with an injury, leaving his status for Wednesday in doubt.
As for the Blues, veteran left wing David Perron has been a steady force for them all season long. Perron was able to keep his five-game point streak intact with an assist on Monday, giving 15 goals and a team-high 35 assists to make 50 points.
Trailing Perron by one point is center Ryan O’Reilly. The former Conn Smyth winner has three goals with an assist over his last three games, bringing him to a team-high 23 goals along with 26 assists.
Two other players have really stood out for St. Louis. Center Jordan Kyrou has developed into one of the Blues’ top scoring options, as the 22-year old’s four-game point streak puts him third on the team with 32 points. He’s tied with left wing Mike Hoffman, who has helped fill the absence of injured players like Vladimir Tarasenko early on and has netted 16 goals, second on the team behind O’Reilly.
The Ducks should be rolling with their starter John Gibson in net once again. Gibson is 9-19-6 with a 2.95 GAA and .904 save percentage but does have three shutouts to his credit.
He’ll go up against Jordan Binnington, who once again should be drawing the start for the Blues. The Cup champion netminder is 16-14-6 with a 2.68 GAA, and .904 save percentage.
As much of a mismatch they may be on paper, the Ducks present some interesting value. Anaheim’s youngsters are starting to find some chemistry and could keep it close. In addition, the Blues have also struggled in their own building, going 10-11-4 this year.
Based on who needs it more, I ultimately will take the Blues to win. But don’t be surprised if this game ends up being closer than you think.
Pick: Ducks +1.5 (-120)
100% up to $3,000 Bonus
Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.