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Ducks Look To Take Flight Against Blue Jackets

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/28/2013 5:47:28 PM

The Anaheim Ducks still have a chance to catch the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Western Conference. They can’t afford to lose many more games if they are going to do it. The fact that the Ducks have managed to stay in contention for first place even with the outstanding start to the year that the Blackhawks enjoyed is pretty impressive, especially considering this team didn’t make the playoffs last season. Next up for Anaheim is a trip to Ohio to face a Columbus Blue Jackets’ team that has also managed to turn some heads through the first half of the online betting season.

Anaheim Ducks @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday March 31, 2013 – 6:00 PM ET
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
NHL Sportsbook Line: Anaheim – 140

Nobody expected the Blue Jackets to be in contention for a playoff spot this late in the year, especially not after losing Rick Nash and their slow start out of the gate. But Columbus has battled hard and found ways to put points on the board with an incredible level of grit and determination, something the Ducks can expect to see on Sunday night.

NHL Betting Preview: Anaheim Ducks

Ryan Getzlaf earned a new contract extension that should keep him with the team well in to his prime, and he has led the way for Anaheim this season with the most goals, assists, and points on the team. Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Andrew Cogliano have each scored at least 10 goals, while Getzlaf’s 37 points are 10 more than Perry’s 27 for the second-best mark on the team. Head coach Bruce Boudreau has had the luxury of being able to roll his lines, and it helps that he has two starting goaltenders to rotate between. Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth have both been up to the task this season, and either one of them could get the start on any given night.

NHL Betting Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets don’t have a single scorer with 10 goals, as Vinny Prospal’s nine are a team-high. However, Columbus has gotten contributions from all four lines this season, as this team brings a consistent hard-working effort every single night and continues to find ways to win close games. Part of that has been Sergei Bobrovksky’s strong play, as his 2.06 goals against average is among the league leaders. Bobrovsky’s 11-7-6 record would be much better if he was playing for another team, but he has been Columbus’ best player on most nights and is a big reason his team is still in contention.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

As well as the Blue Jackets have played on home ice, they just aren’t ready to take own a team as complete as the Ducks are this year. Anaheim has been better at both ends of the ice this sports betting season, and will continue to put the pressure on Chicago in top spot by earning another important win to its season total.

NHL Betting Pick: Anaheim Ducks

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