Calgary Flames (29-26-1-2) vs. Vancouver Canucks (25-27-4-2)
NHL: Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 10:00pm EST
Line: Calgary -115/Vancouver -105
The Vancouver Canucks will host the Calgary Flames in a divisional battle Saturday night from the Rogers Arena. The Flames are coming off a 3-1 home win over the Flyers, and the Canucks were edged 4-3 by the Blues on Thursday night. The season series is currently tied two games apiece.
Flames Kick Off Five Game Road Trip
The Calgary Flames got back in the win column with a 3-1 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers behind a strong performance from goaltender Brian Elliot on Wednesday night. Elliot turned aside 33 of 34 shots in the win. Matthew Tkachuk had a big game, scoring one goal and added one assist. The 19-year old rookie is having a spectacular rookie campaign, collecting five points over his last four games, and now has 11 goals and 25 assists on the season. Flame leading scorer Mikael Backlund continued his productive play with another assist in the win, and has now recorded five points over his last five games. The 27-year old center is having an excellent season, scoring 15 goals along with 24 assists in 58 games played. Backlund has enjoyed success against the Canucks this season, scoring one goal with four assists in four games. The Flames are now 5-2 over their last seven games and currently hold a one point lead over the Kings for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are now starting a five game road trip, and it will be crucial for them to at least win two or three games to stay in the playoff race. The Flames are now scoring an average of 2.6 goals per game, ranking them 21st overall.
Calgary has been rotating between Chad Johnson and Brian Elliot in goal. Elliot has allowed five goals in two games against Vancouver this season, and now features a weak 2.79 GAA along with a .898 save percentage. Johnson has only allowed two goals in two starts against Vancouver this season. The Flames are allowing an average of 2.8 goals per game, placing them 19th in the NHL.
Canucks Return Home after Long Road Trip
The Vancouver Canucks concluded their six game road trip with a tough 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. The contest was tied 2-2 heading into the third and the Blues broke out with two goals in the first five minutes of the final frame. Bo Horvat continued his strong play with another goal in the loss. Horvat is having a tremendous season, scoring in three straight games, and now has a team-leading 18 goals with 21 assists on the season. Henrik Sedin finally snapped his scoring slump with his 12th goal of the season on Thursday night. The veteran center had gone ten straight without a goal, and now sits second in team scoring with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists). Vancouver finished their tough six-game road trip with a 2-4 record and are 3-7 over their last ten games. The Canucks are scoring an average of 2.3 goals per game, ranking them down at 28th in the NHL.
Vancouver will likely go with Ryan Miller between the pipes in this one. Miller is having a rough month of February, and now owns a 2.65 GAA with a .916 save percentage and a 15-16-3 record. The Canucks are now allowing an average of 2.9 goals per game, placing them 20th in the NHL.
The Calgary Flames are:
- 6-0 in their last 6 games playing on two days of rest.
- 6-2 in their last 8 games against the Canucks.
- over is 11-1-1 in their last 13 games playing on two days of rest.
The Vancouver Canucks are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 Saturday games.
- 0-5 in their last 5 games against the Western Conference.
- over is 3-0-1 in their last 4 games against the Western Conference.
I am going with the Flames and the over. The Canucks are not playing good hockey right now, losing seven out of their last nine games while the Flames have won three out of their last four road games and are fighting for a playoff spot so I think the Flames will come out on top. I think we will see a lot of goals as the Canucks are allowing an average of 3.5 goals over their last eight games, and the Flames have scored three or more goals in six out of their last seven games.