Anaheim Ducks vs. New York Rangers - 1/7/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Rangers (21-11-4) at Anaheim Ducks (26-9-6)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10:30 pm (Honda Center)
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -135 / New York Rangers +115 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
In a league that’s as closely contested as the National Hockey League it’s always impressive when a team really puts together a solid winning streak. The New York Rangers have won 10 of their last 11 games as they head out west for an extremely difficult three game road trip. New York starts off in Anaheim against the Ducks on Wednesday night in the first of a back-to-back that brings them to Los Angeles on Thursday. Then they wrap up the trip with a game in San Jose against the Sharks. Playing a back-to-back and three games in four nights is never easy for any club but to have to do it against these three opponents is going to be a real test for the Rangers. New York enters Wednesday night’s contest having been off since Saturday night when they drubbed the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers were the beneficiaries of three consecutive power plays in the first period that all led to goals in the eventual 6-1 rout. Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, and Rick Nash scored just 2:32 apart on three separate man advantages to give New York a quick 3-0 lead. Dan Boyle would add his third goal of the season later in the period. Carl Hagelin and Jesper Fast added second period goals for New York who controlled the game from start to finish. This will be a huge step up in class for the Rangers but this team is flying high with confidence right now. New York is top 10 in the league in goals per game and goals allowed and their power play has been coming of recently as well after a very tough start to the year. Backup goaltender Cam Talbot has stated that he will play one of the three games on this road trip but neither Talbot nor head coach Alain Vigneault have disclosed which game that will be.
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Despite numerous injuries the Anaheim Ducks enter the contest with a record of 26-9-6 and in first place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim has won three of their last four and are coming off consecutive 4-3 victories over the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. It took a late comeback on Sunday night but Francois Beauchemin scored the tying goal with just 2:17 remaining in the third period to even the score at 3-3. Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler would score in the shootout as the Ducks held on for the win. Matt Beleskey’s 17th goal of the season gave the Ducks a 1-0 first period lead but Anaheim was outscored 3-1 in the middle frame to fall behind. Frederik Andersen made 27 saves to improve his record to 22-6-5 on the season. Corey Perry chipped in his 15th goal of the season as well. Anaheim has really played well this season and they’ve got an 11 point lead over the second play Vancouver Canucks right now. Vancouver has three games in hand an can make things much closer but nobody would have though that any club in this division would have the potential to run away with things. The scary part about the Ducks is it feels like they really haven’t even started to get going yet and that’s a bad thing for everybody else in the Western Conference.
This one could go either way and while the Ducks deserve to be favorites I like getting the Rangers at plus money. If New York can utilize their speed and make the Ducks play their type of hockey they should be fine. Anaheim will take this one if things get physical.