San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks - 12/29/13
Anaheim Ducks (28-7-5) at San Jose Sharks (24-8-6)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, December 29, 2013 at 10:30 pm (SAP Center)
The Line: San Jose Sharks -163 / Anaheim Ducks +148 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NHLN-CA, PRIME, CSN-CA
The Anaheim Ducks ride a winning streak into San Jose to face the Sharks on Sunday night at the SAP Center.
The Ducks enter Sunday’s game with the in-state, Pacific Division rival Sharks on a ten game winning streak, the most recent of which came in overtime on Saturday night in Phoenix. During the streak, Anaheim has faced quality opponents and scored an average of 3.2 goals per game, which ranks the Ducks third in the NHL in scoring. Saku Koivu is the latest Duck to step up and carry the scoring load. Koivu scored two goals last night against the Coyotes, including the game winner, and now has seven points in his last five games.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
San Jose has played its best hockey at the SAP Center this season. The Sharks are tied for the league lead in shootouts with 11 on the year, this after San Jose has gone to a shootout in each of its last three contests, but the Sharks have won all three decisions. In the absence of center Tomas Hertl the Sharks have gotten added production from Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. Pavelski has four goals in this last five games and Thornton, who leads the NHL in assists with 37, has eight assists in his last six games. The Sharks are at par with the Ducks in the scoring category with 3.1 goals per game, but rank slightly behind Anaheim allowing 2.4 goals against per game.
I think the Ducks will focus on stopping the Sharks top lines, and San Jose’s other two lines have been lackluster of late, so the Sharks may need offensive production from an unexpected source. The Sharks have trends in its favor with the home team going 6-1 in the last seven meetings and the Ducks being 4-9 in the last 13 games in San Jose. However, Anaheim is 6-0 in its last six road games. Although Anaheim is playing the back end of a back-to-back on the road, it is tough not to play a team getting plus money while playing the best hockey in the league. I will likely stay away from this game, but I lean toward a play on the Ducks.