Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have bounced back from an opening game loss with two consecutive victories and will be playing the second half of a back-to-back on Friday when visiting the Anaheim Ducks after playing on the road Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. Colorado lost 4-1 on opening night to St Louis, but bounced back with an 8-0 rout of the Blues followed by a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the first of two consecutive games with LA. Colorado is 2-1-0 with four points.

 

Anaheim has struggled to start the season as the Ducks have lost three of their first four. Anaheim opened with a pair of losses to Vegas 5-2 and 2-1 before winning their first game against the Minnesota Wild 1-0, but were then defeated by the Wild and the second game of their series 3-2. Anaheim is 1-2-1 with three points. The Ducks have found it hard to come by goals as Anaheim is averaging just 1.50 goals per contest through the first four games of the regular season.

Colorado putting up big numbers on the offensive end

Colorado has scored 12 goals through its first three games of the regular season including an outburst of eight goals against the St. Louis Blues. The leading goal scorer for Colorado is Nathan MacKinnon with four. The Avalanche center is also the leader in points for Colorado with five. Defenseman Devon Toews is leading the Avalanche in assists with two. Colorado is averaging 4.00 goals per game and is allowing an average of 2.00 goals per game.

The penalty kill unit for Colorado has been impressive as the Avalanche have been effective 88.9% of the time when short-handed while the Colorado power play has been even more impressive scoring 47.1% of the time. Philipp Grubauer has started each of the first three games in goal for Colorado and is 2-1-0 with a goals-against average of 2.01 and a .923 save percentage. Colorado netminder has turned aside 72 of the 78 shots he’s faced.

Injury Report: Andre Burakovsky and Pavel Francouz are both questionable Friday

Ducks need to find their offense

Anaheim has opened the regular season losing three of their first four. The Ducks have scored a total of 6 goals in 4 games averaging just 1.50 per game and in their only victory won 1-0. The leading goal scorer for Anaheim is Max Comtois with three and Comtois is tied for the lead in points with three. Carter Rowney is the leader in assists with three and tied with Comtois for the points lead. Anaheim has yet to score on the power play, but has compensated with an excellent penalty kill unit that has been effective 90.9% of the time.

Anaheim is allowing an average of 2.00 goals per game. John Gibson is 1-1-1 with a goals-against average of 2.03 and a .937 save percentage. Gibson has pushed aside 89 of the 95 shots he’s faced in net. Ryan Miller is 0-1-0 with a goals-against average of 3.11 and a .906 save percentage. Miller has pushed aside 29 of the 32 shots he’s faced in it.

Injury Report: Brendan Guhle is out until late February, Max Jones is out indefinitely and Josh Manson is questionable for Friday.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Colorado has started the season averaging 4.00 goals per game and have scored as many as eight goals in one game. In contrast, Anaheim is averaging just 1.50 goals per game and in the Ducks only win this season Anaheim scored just one goal. Philipp Grubauer has played very well in net for the Avalanche allowing an average of just 2.01 goals-per-game with a .923 save percentage. Colorado has started the season with one of the best power play units that is scoring at a rate of 47.1% of the time while Anaheim’s power play cannot get any worse at 0.0% through the first four games of the regular season.

Prediction:
Colorado Avalanche -208

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Colorado will put up its share of goals on the scoreboard, but Anaheim will have a hard time scoring just one. The Avalanche average 4.00 goals-per-game and Anaheim averages just 1.50 goals per game. In addition, Anaheim has received strong play in net from goalie John Gibson and the Ducks are allowing an average of just 2.50 goals per game, while Colorado is allowing just 2.00 goals per game. The total has finished under in 12 of the last 15 games that Colorado has played against a team with a losing record

Prediction:
UNDER 5.5