The Atlantic Division meets the Pacific Division this evening as the Florida Panthers tangle with the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. The Panthers enter this contest off a game in Edmonton on Saturday so they will be playing on no rest, while the Flames are off a 5-3 home win over the Avalanche.
Panthers Get Blasted By The Penguins
The Florida Panthers had a nice little stretch that saw them going 6-2, but since then, they have headed in the opposite direction, losing three straight games. Florida would love to get back on track in this one, but it will not be easy as they are playing on no rest and the Flames have been a solid home team. Still, I have found that anything can happen in the league this year. Florida is currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and they are 10 points out of the 8th spot. The Panthers were down 2-0 to the Pens just 3.03 into the game and were never able to recover. Scoring their lone goal was Aleksander Barkov, which was his 17th of the year. The Panthers have gone 9-13 on the road and they have averaged 2.95 gpg and have allowed 3.82 gpg in those games.
#FlaPanthers Open Road Trip with 5-1 Loss to Penguins.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) January 9, 2019
Absorbing the loss was Roberto Luongo, who allowed four goals on 16 shot attempts before being replaced by James Reimer, who allowed one goal on 15 shot attempts the rest of the way. Luongo is slated to be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 8-10 with a 3.37 GAA and a .892 save percentage on the year, including 4-7 with a 3.91 GAA and a .879 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 27-20 with a 2.61 GAA against the Flames. Florida checks in at 4th in the league in power play conversions at 27.0 ppg and 16th in penalty kill at 79.8%.
Flames Take Down Avs At Home
The Calgary Flames come in playing well as they have won three in a row and five of their last six. Their recent play has allowed them to maintain a two-point lead over the Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division. The Flames have been led by their offense all year so far, and it came up with a nice effort in their 5-3 home win over the Avalanche on Wednesday evening. Calgary has averaged 4.83 gpg over their last six games overall and we also note that their home games have averaged 7.62 on the year. Just something to look for. Scoring in the win over the Avs was Mikael Backlund (10th), Mark Jankowski (7th), Elias Lindholm (21st), Michael Frolik (10th), and Matthew Tkachuk (20th). The Flames have gone 13-8 here at home for the year and they have averaged 4.24 gpg and have allowed 3.38 gpg in those games.
"We're playing great hockey but we always can be better."
David Rittich is looking forward to the team rounding out its game over the course of this lengthy homestand. pic.twitter.com/jrO2boFY3v
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 11, 2019
Snatching up the win was David Rittich, who stopped 32 of the 35 shots that he faced to improve to 16-7 with a 2.42 GAA and a .921 save percentage on the year, including 7-3 with a 3.31 GAA and a .883 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 1-1 with a 4.19 GAA against the Panthers. Calgary enters this contest ranked 11th in power play conversions at 21.4% and 19th in penalty kill at 78.7%.
- 17-5 in their last 22 games playing on 1 days rest.
- 9-4 in their last 13 home games
- 65-142-3 in their last 210 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 1-5 in their last 6 vs. the Western Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will look for the Flames to take this one. They are at home and have gone 13-8 here on the year, averaging 4.24 gpg in the process. The Panthers have gone 9-13 on the road and they have averaged 2.95 gpg in those games. The Flames have won five of their last six overall, while the Panthers have lost three in a row. Ride the momentum with the Flames in this one.
Prediction: Calgary -203
Full-Game Total Pick
I love the Over in this one. David Rittich has gone 7-3 here at home for the year, but with a 3.31 GAA and the Flames as a team have allowed 3.38 gpg at home. The offense for Calgary has been strong at home as they have averaged 4.24 gpg here and the Panthers have allowed 3.82 gpg on the road. Florida has averaged a solid 2.95 gpg on the road and they will get their fair share of goals as well. The Over is 14-4-3 in Florida’s last 21 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 16-5-1 in Calgary’s last 22 home games, plus 8-0 the last eight games in this series.
Prediction: Over 6.5