The Anaheim Ducks (5-5-3) are in Las Vegas for a showdown with the Golden Knights (7-1-1) Tuesday night. Anaheim is two points out of first place in the West Division, while Vegas is tied with the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues for first. The Ducks won their last game, a 2-1 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. As for the Golden Knights, they’ve won two in a row following their series with the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Sunday. For those doing Anaheim Ducks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting, Vegas is the heavy betting favorite at -240. However, the Ducks are +200 on the moneyline.
Puck drop is at 10 p.m. ET.
Anaheim Ducks Preview
The Ducks have struggled to generate offense, which is amazing for a team that is two points out of first place. Anaheim is scoring a league-worst 1.85 goals per game, which begs the question, how have they got to where they are in the standings?
The main reason has been the outstanding play of John Gibson. The 27-year-old netminder has a 4-4-3 record this season with a 2.48 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage, and two shutouts.
He’s made NHL news by ranking third in the league in both shots against and saves. Gibson also boasts the second-best power-play save percentage (.933), trailing only Colorado’s Phillip Grubauer.
To avoid overworking Gibson, Ryan Miller is expected to start Tuesday. Miller has a 1-1-0 record this season with a 2.34 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
If Anaheim wants to beat the NHL odds and win Tuesday, it absolutely must shoot the puck more. Anaheim generates the fourth-fewest shots on goal per game (27.0).
Both of the Ducks’ 2016 first-round picks, Sam Steel and Max Jones, average less than one shot per game. They’ve combined for one goal and three assists this season.
Max Comtois leads the team in goals with five. He is tied with Carter Rowney (no goals, six assists) for the team lead in points.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights responded to their COVID-19 postponements with a pair of wins over the Kings and have roared to first place in the West Division. An incredibly well-balanced squad, Vegas ranks in the top five in both goals for per game (3.56) and goals against per game (2.33).
Part of the Golden Knights’ excellence has been the strong play from Mark Stone, who was named the first full-time captain in team history before the start of the season. Stone has three goals and 11 assists this season. Stone perfectly compliments Max Pacioretty on the opposite wing.
Robin Lehner is the expected starter Tuesday, and he should be seeing most of the workload throughout the season. Lehner has posted a 3-1-1 record, paired with a 2.96 GAA and an .890 save percentage. While he has been a bit shaky in net at times, he is still a reliable starter.
For the Ducks, Derek Grant is still out while dealing with an upper-body injury. Josh Manson and Sonny Milano are still out, while Brendan Guhle is on long-term injured reserve.
As for the Golden Knights, Alex Pietrangelo remains in COVID-19 protocol and is expected to miss Tuesday’s tilt. Brayden McNabb and Jiri Petera are both on injured reserve with undisclosed conditions.
Vegas should win. It is the better team in most facets, and, above all, they’re scoring goals. However, looking at the NHL odds, picking the Golden Knights at -240 doesn’t provide much betting value.
Instead, the better play here is to take Vegas -1.5. Without Gibson going in net, I think the Golden Knights have a better chance to score on Miller.
Anaheim also doesn’t shoot or score often enough to keep up with Vegas’ high-powered offense. With Vegas -1.5 sitting at +108, it’s where the best value for your bet can be found.
When doing your online NHL betting, take the Golden Knights -1.5 on the puck line.