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Free NHL Pick: Colorado Avalanche vs Anaheim Ducks (2/24/13)

COLORADO AVALANCHE @ ANAHEIM DUCKS – GAME TIME AT 8:00 PM EST

Viktor FasthThe Anaheim Ducks signed first-year sensation Viktor Fasth to a two-year extension, and the goalie may get a chance to improve to 9-0-0 on Sunday night at home against the Colorado Avalanche.

Anaheim (12-2-1) is in search of its first six-game win streak since Nov. 3-12, 2010. Coach Bruce Boudreau gave the club two days off during this five-day break that precedes a set of back-to-back games.

The Ducks wasted no time Wednesday in signing Fasth to a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension after the Swedish goalie posted a 1.78 goals-against average over his first nine stellar appearances with the club. The 30-year-old Fasth has won his first eight starts, joining Ray Emery and Bob Froese as the only NHL goalies to win their first eight decisions.

It’s unclear how Boudreau will approach these games, with a short trip down the freeway Monday night to face the Stanley Cup champion Kings looming. Jonas Hiller made 25 saves in the Ducks’ last game, a 4-2 home win over Columbus on Monday.

Fasth could be a good choice Sunday since he made 31 saves for his lone shutout in a 3-0 road victory over the Avalanche (7-8-1) on Feb. 6 in the first meeting between these clubs. Hiller is 2-3-1 with a 3.17 GAA in his last six starts versus Colorado.

The team-oriented Ducks do not have a player in the top 25 in the league in points, but have nine with at least eight. Anaheim has scored 17 goals during its five-game home win streak. Defenseman Cam Fowler returned to practice this week, although it’s unclear if he will play after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.

The Ducks will get their first look this season at Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who returned in Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Los Angeles after missing the last 11 games with a concussion. Landeskog had six points in four games against Anaheim last season.

Avs coach Joe Sacco indicated before this three-game trip that former Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere will likely be Sunday’s starter after going with Semyon Varlamov against the Kings. Giguere is 2-1-0 with a 2.35 GAA in three starts against the Ducks since they traded him to Toronto in 2010.


Starting Goalies

Colorado Avalanche – Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Anaheim Ducks – Viktor Fasth

Free NHL Pick of the Day

The Avs had an early game in LA yesterday where they got spanked 4-1, and this was with Semyon Varlamov in net. Meanwhile the Ducks had yesterday off and are well rested. With the Ducks getting points all throughout their lineup it’s hard not to back the Ducks in this one. The odds are not in our favor, but when it’s a sure thing, you take it. Follow the Ducks as they “quack” their way through back up goalie, Giguere.

Anaheim Ducks -175 ($100)

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