Anaheim Ducks vs. St. Louis Blues - 3/12/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Elias Hubbard
March 13, 2018

In 60 minutes Jake Allen collected 38 saves on 40 shot attempts, a 95% save percentage.

This is the final game between these two teams in the regular season. A win tonight and with their game in hand would put the Blues above the Flames and the Ducks and give the Kings the inside track of taking over the Ducks, something that would move the Blues two spots closer to a wild card position. The Blues rank highly in win percentage when leading after first period (#2), shots allowed (#5) and win percentage when scoring first (#7).

Ivan Barbashev staked the Blues to a 2-0 lead just three minutes into the second period Monday in Anaheim when he slammed home a rebound of a shot from the point by Alex Pietrangelo that was first deflected in front of the net by Nikita Soshnikov. The St. Louis power play ranks 29th in the National Hockey League.

The shutdown line of Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg has also struggled offensively but Carlyle said it "gets a bit of a pass" because of all the defensive responsibilities that it shoulders. Allen is 5-3-0 with one shutout and a 1.92 goals-against average lifetime against the Ducks. "I thought we did a good job of holding our own. Special teams was the difference".

The Ducks have converted on just 17.9 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that's ranked 25th in the National Hockey League.

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle commented, "Well, again that is the difference in the game".

Much like earlier in the year, the Blues defense keyed the offense with three different Blues defensemen (Robert Bortuzzo, Colton Parayko, and Alex Pietrangelo) scoring the 1st three goals. And what did we do? "Special teams - we lost the battle; they won the hockey game with it". It appears rookie Marcus Pettersson will sit out as Carlyle will go with both Francois Beauchemin and Kevin Bieksa against the more physical Blues. But the big development that came out of that win was Coach Mike Yeo reuniting the top line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko. The trio produced five points against the Kings. In their last game, the Anaheim Ducks lost to the Dallas Stars by one on the road, 2-1.

The feast and starvation season continued on Saturday for the Blues with a key 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

- Pietrangelo led the team with 8 shots and was +5.

St. Louis regained its two-goal lead at 16:50 of the second when Sobotka took a strong pass and snapped a shot under Gibson for his 10th goal. Tarasenko has points in six of the last 10 games. The Blues recalled defenseman Chris Butler from San Antonio. St. Louis skaters have accounted for the league's 11th-most hits per game (22.4) while the Ducks have handed the sixth-most (24.2). The Blues are at the end of a four-game road trip. They host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, March 15 at Scottrade Center.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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