Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Preview

Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Preview article feature image

Zak Krill/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Pacioretty.

  • The Vegas Golden Knights are road favorites against the Anaheim Ducks in Friday's NHL showdown.
  • Vegas is struggling with some noteworthy injuries, while the upstart Ducks have surprised many this season.
  • Greg Liodice breaks down the game below and delivers his betting pick.

Golden Knights vs. Ducks Odds

Golden Knights Odds-130
Ducks Odds+110
Over/Under5.5 (-120 / +100)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

It’s a battle of two Pacific Division teams when the Vegas Golden Knights head to Anaheim and take on the Ducks, with Vegas installed as a slight road favorite.

For the better part of this calendar year, the Golden Knights have been atop the Pacific Division until now. Injuries have started playing a problem of late, though, and Vegas is fighting just to keep its head above water. The Knights lost last night to the Bruins, and are now 4-5-1 in their last 10.

Anaheim isn’t exactly riding a wave either. For the most part of the season, they were in the top 3 in the Pacific, until they started getting cold. They recently won this past Tuesday against the Bruins, but similar to their counterparts, they’re also 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

Vegas Battling Through Key Injuries

Injuries have riddled Sin City since the start of the season, and it hasn’t stopped. Yet, the Knights still find themselves in the midst of the playoff race. Vegas will be without captain Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, Mattias Janmark, Nolan Patrick and possibly Max Pacioretty (who’s day to day). Regardless, they’re stacked with quality players like Chandler Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore and Jack Eichel.

Vegas has always been a solid team at driving play, and this season is no different. Even with the injuries, the Knights average 3.17 goals per game. They're currently 10th in expected goals with a 52.29 xGF% and fifth in creating high-danger chances. With the man advantage, the power play can be weak at times, only scoring 18.4% of the time, but they’re never to be taken lightly.

On the defensive side of the puck, Vegas has held strong and stayed toward the middle of the pack. It's currently 16th in goals allowed per game with 2.89, but allow the fifth-most high-danger chances. The penalty kill isn’t bad either with a 80.1% success rate.

Golden Knights netminder Robin Lehner made his return after suffering a torn labrum Tuesday in successful fashion. The Swede stopped 16 shots out of 17 and looked like he didn’t lose a step. He’s posting a .907 save percentage and a 7.5 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).

Backup Laurent Brossoit did a fine job in his place with a .903 save percentage and a 3.5 GSAx. However, since Lehner started in the loss against Boston last night, I see Brossoit starting tonight.

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Young Ducks Starting To Soar

While the future is bright in Orange County, many think the future could be now.

The Ducks have amplified their rebuild this year with exceptional performances by All Star Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, while captain Ryan Getzlaf has provided undeniable leadership. There’s also been solid production from guys like Sonny Milano and veteran defenseman Cam Fowler.

The Ducks are the embodiment of a young team. All the talent in the world, but not a whole lot of offensive structure. Currently, they’re in the bottom half of goal scoring (2.88 GPG), and are ranked 21st in expected goals with a 48.55 xGF%. They do however, generate a decent amount of high danger chances as well, but that could be due to their elite power play. Anaheim is currently 6th with the man advantage, scoring at a 25.2% clip. 

Defensively, the Ducks certainly can be better, but that’s a testament to their youth as well. They currently allow about three goals per game and are 11th in high danger chances allowed. However, their penalty kill is one of the best, (which can also be attributed to great goaltending), as they’re eighth with an 82.3% success rate.

Anaheim net-minder John Gibson has been one of the better goaltenders all season, and is probably why the Ducks have stayed in contention for so long. The American goalie is averaging a .911 save percentage, as well as a -1.3 GSAx. Those numbers might not say much, but he’s been crucial to the Ducks.

I would probably expect Gibson to get the nod since backup Anthony Stolarz has seen the ice a few more times than usual recently.

Golden Knights vs. Ducks Pick

Both teams have struggled as of late and it’ll certainly be an interesting game to watch. 

Personally, I feel like Anaheim has a lot more to play for than Vegas. While the Knights perform better than them in the underlying numbers, I do feel like they don’t have that desperation factor like Anaheim does. 

The Ducks are not out of it by any means, but a loss here separates themselves further from the playoff race. Factor in that Vegas is coming in hobbled, on the backend of a back to back, and their backup will most likely start. I’ll be quacking all night tonight, as I back the Ducks in this bout.

Pick: Ducks +110

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