Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The injury-riddled Bruins are limping into the holiday break, but their stock may be a little high after a 4-0 shutout win over Montreal last time out. While the B's have been rotating goaltenders, it is no surprise to see them go back to Jaroslav Halak after he posted that goose egg Monday night, but fading a goaltender coming off a shutout is an angle that we don't mind factoring into our decision making here.
With Halak playing Tuesday, his third shutout of the season, the rotation would call for Tuukka Rask to play Thursday. But given the shutout -- Halak's second of the season -- and Rask's 1-6-1 career record (3.62 goals against average and .865 save percentage), Halak gets the call and we’re thrilled about it because regression in his season long numbers are inevitable. Halak’s GSAA ranks third this year but previously and over the past five years, he’s been ranked 50th or worse every year.
We were on the Ducks last time out against the Rangers and will not let up here, as this team is still flying under the radar despite losing just two of their last 10 games. Anaheim gave up three third period goals in New York, but prior to that, it had been a team you could trust to close it out, as it had outscored its opponents 18-4 in the third period over that 10 game stretch. Coach Randy Carlyle called his team out because they "stopped playing" and so a bounceback would not be a shock here, as pro athletes don't usually enjoy being called quitters. Goaltender John Gibson is the biggest reason for Anaheim's success, but the emergence of Ondrej Kase has also been a big factor, as he's tallied six goals and five assists in his last eight games and Ryan Getzlaf is also playing well with 17 points in his previous 15 contests. Gibson had the night off against the Rags, but was great during the Ducks four-game winning streak where he allowed just six goals. Of all the goaltenders to make at least 20 starts, Gibson leads them all in SV% and when he's in the net, the Ducks are a must bet when taking back a price.
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Anaheim +138 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.76)