Anaheim Ducks at Vegas Golden Knights - 1/14/21 NHL Picks and Prediction

Anaheim Ducks at Vegas Golden Knights - 1/14/21 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas Golden Knights (0-0) vs Anaheim Ducks (0-0)

Game Info: Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 10:00 pm (T-Mobile Arena)

Betting Odds: Vegas Golden Knights -238 / Anaheim Ducks +188 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Anaheim Ducks and the Vegas Golden Knights meet in NHL action from T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night.

The Anaheim Ducks will look to bounce back in 2021 after a disappointing 2019-20 season after finishing with a 29-33-9 record, making it the first time since 2001-02 that the Anaheim Ducks missed the playoffs in back-to-back years. The big need for the Ducks was addressing the offense as the Ducks just couldn’t score enough last season and that’s putting it nicely. David Backes brings some veteran leadership and grit with the ability to score goals, but the Ducks didn’t make the biggest splash. Anaheim did add a solid top-level defenseman in Kevin Shattenkirk to help protect John Gibson and give Gibson the best shot at staying healthy which in turn gives Anaheim the best chance to win hockey games going forward. The defense has to be better, but like I said before, the new studs like Troy Terry, Sam Steel and Sonny Milano have to produce and help the Ducks where they can.

The Vegas Golden Knights will attempt to build on yet another strong season, finishing the year with an overall mark of 39-24-8 for the Pacific division crown and after the round-robin seeding games in the bubble, the #1 seed in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights took down Chicago in the first round and Vancouver in the second round before falling to Dallas in the conference finals. Leave it to Vegas where the saying the rich get richer comes in perfectly, as the Golden Knights upgraded their defensive unit with the prize of the free agency period, signing Alex Pietrangelo to a long term deal. The top tier of Vegas’ core remains in tact as well with the likes of Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone both have after putting up 66 and 63 points respectively. Reilly Smith had 54 regular season points while Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Shea Theodore are all back after recording 40+ points seasons with Theodore and Stone leading Vegas in playoff points, each logging 7 goals with Theodore logging 19 points to Stone’s 17 points. Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury are both back as well to form arguably the best goaltending tandem in the NHL as the Golden Knights are simply loaded.

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Anaheim is 7-19 in their last 26 Thursday games and 2-6 in their last 8 games against the Western Conference while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 road games. Vegas is 1-4 in their last 5 games overall and 15-5 in their last 20 home games while the under is 7-0-1 in their last 8 games overall. Anaheim is 1-7 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams and 0-4 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams in Vegas.

Both of these teams come into this game with improvement the #1 goal, and both took massive steps in that direction by loading up on defense. With that said, I think that defense comes to play from day one and we see a lower-scoring and more physical game, so I’ll side with the under as my free pick for this game, but my stronger play is on the side and I have that available as a premium pick that you can find here.

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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