NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Senators (Jan. 29)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Senators (Jan. 29) article feature image

Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Anaheim Ducks standout Ryan Getzlaf.

  • The Anaheim Ducks head to Canada to face the Ottawa Senators in Saturday's NHL showdown.
  • The visitors are -150 favorites, as of Saturday morning, in this interesting matinee matchup.
  • Nicholas Martin takes a look at this game below and details why he likes Anaheim to triumph.

Ducks vs. Senators Odds

Ducks Odds-150
Senators Odds+120
Time12:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Anaheim bounced back from an awful run of play with a 3-0-1 stretch, including claiming five of six possible points from the Lightning, Bruins and Maple Leafs.

The 30th-placed Senators appear to be much easier opponents, but have scrapped their way to a 2-0-2 mark over their last four games, offering a glimpse of the form we from this "pesky" group down the stretch last season.

Can Ottawa scrape its way toward the result they probably deserved against Carolina last time out here short two of its top scorers?

Ottawa Senators

Thursday's 3-2 shootout loss to an excellent Carolina team could easily be viewed as another positive night for the developing young Senators, if not a scary collision leaving Josh Norris on the injured reserve.

Norris injury comes just one game after top scorer Drake Batherson's, in another stiff collision with the boards, and now leaves the Senators short two of their top three scorers, on a team who have already only produced a 21st-best offensive output this season.

Over their last eight games the Senators have posted a very respectable 49.27 xGF%, and the work rate and attention to detail from D.J. Smith's young club has clearly been above average.

However with that said, this roster is what it is, there's some notably lesser talent, and that's still a below 50% expected goals rate for a team which now very much so is holding considerably less true scoring talent than an average roster, and their ability to score was actually where I saw more upside moving forward.

Part of their 30th placed record has no doubt been the often dreadful goaltending, but Matt Murray has found his form of late, posting a .939 save % over his last five outings.

Murray now holds a +1.3 goals saved above expected rating with a .906 save % throughout 12 games played this season.

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim's 5-1 home victory of the Lightning certainly felt like the type of win to snap a team out of a notable funk, and it's clear that big win did indeed spark this group.

The Ducks followed that effort up with a 5-3 win in Boston, and a 4-3 shootout loss against Toronto, before a 5-4 win Thursday in Montreal.

The four game losing streak prior to that came against top teams in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Colorado, as well as a loss in a back-to-back situation vs rested Chicago, short some of their better forwards.

So my point here is that I believe they are coming out of a bit of a low, and although a 41.51 xGF% over their last eight games is a poor mark, I still feel they come in slightly undervalued here considering the line against the 30th-ranked Senators.

They hold a considerably deeper offensive unit, and although I still do not see this Ducks group as any sort of a legit playoff contender, they might sneak in out of the lowly Pacific Division, I still think they hold a lot of edges over the Senators' current roster.

John Gibson should draw the start here coming off an unbelievable effort against the Leafs Thursday, now holding a +8.3 goals saved above expected with a .920 save % this season, posting yet another very strong season so far.

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Ducks vs. Senators Pick

Although Ottawa actually looked fairly sharp defensively again in its contest against Carolina, it just doesn't look to me like a near Pick'em line is fair here.

The Norris and Batherson losses are massive, and there really just is not a lot left behind up front for a group who have not generated a lot of offence to begin with.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the overall gameplay run surprisingly close, but even still I think we have enough of an edge with Ottawa's current lack of scoring ability, and the fact that Anaheim still have to be seen to hold a considerable goaltending edge with John Gibson against Matt Murray, even if Murray has momentarily found significantly better form of late.

I am surprised to see Anaheim sitting at -125 here, and I think we certainly have enough value to back the club on the moneyline all the way down -135 odds. That said, I  think that current price will worsen closer to puck drop.

Pick: Anaheim ML (-125)

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