Arizona Coyotes at Calgary Flames
When and Where: Sunday, Dec. 13, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alb., 9:30 p.m. EST.
The Calgary Flames look to become the first Western Conference team to 30 wins and extend their winning streak to five games Sunday when they host the Arizona Coyotes.
Hill expected to be between pipes for Coyotes
With Arizona (20-21-3) playing on consecutive nights trying to sweep its three-game road swing through Northwest Canada after a 3-2 win at Edmonton on Saturday night, the expectation is the Coyotes will turn to Adin Hill for his first start since a 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Jan. 2.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 2, 2019
Hill is 7-4-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average and a shutout this season but took a hard-luck loss versus the Oilers as he stopped 21 of 23 shots in their 3-1 defeat. He is a solid 5-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA and .930 save percentage on the road but has given up 10 goals in his last three road starts after conceding just one in his first two.
Arizona has fared well on the back end of games on consecutive nights, going 3-1-0, but its penalty kill has been a miss in those games. The Coyotes are 13 for 17, which has almost completely negated a productive power play that has cashed in 5 of 21 opportunities with the man advantage.
Also of note is all three of Arizona’s wins playing on back-to-back nights have come on the road — at Washington, the New York Rangers and San Jose.
Red-hot Flames look to make it five in a row
Calgary (29-13-4) is trying to create some separation in the Pacific Division, where it began play Saturday three points better than San Jose and four ahead of reigning conference champion Vegas.
The Flames look to match a season high with a fifth straight win — established Nov. 30-Dec. 8 — following a 4-3 victory over Florida on Friday night. Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists for Calgary, which has taken at least one point from 13 of its last 14 home games (10-1-3).
We suggest watching tonight's highlight pack if you're into comeback wins. pic.twitter.com/I7QeMhXU0U
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 12, 2019
“The most important thing we can take away from the last couple of games is that winning teams are able to find ways to win even when not playing your best,” Derek Ryan told the club’s official website.
“The fact we’ve been able to do that is great. The fact that we haven’t played our best, isn’t. I wouldn’t say it’s hard to escape that” – start taking winning simply as a matter of course – “mentality, but it is comforting to know that we have such a good team that we are able to win games that maybe we shouldn’t.”
Frolik has only 11 goals and four assists, but he has has four goals and four assists in his last seven games. Johnny Gaudreau, who leads Calgary with 67 points, carries a seven-game point streak into this contest in which he has totaled seven goals and nine assists.
Gaudreau has four goals and 12 assists in 18 lifetime games versus Arizona but only one goal in the last 11 matchups.
Mike Smith gets the start for the Flames, who are giving David Rittich the night off. Since reeling off six straight wins from Nov. 25-Dec. 8, the one-time Coyotes netminder has been shaky with a 1-2-0 record and 4.13 goals-against average in his last our appearances.
Smith has not played since a 6-4 loss at Boston on Jan. 3 when he yielded five goals on 26 shots. He is 5-3-0 with a 2.10 GAA versus the Coyotes and has won three of his last four starts against them.
The Flames are:
- 5-0 in their last five games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 18-5 in their last 23 games playing on one day of rest.
- 11-4 in their last 15 home games vs. the Coyotes.
- The over is 6-1 in their last seven games.
- The over is 18-7-1 in their last 26 home games.
- The over is 4-1 in their last five games vs. sub-.500 teams.
The Coyotes are:
- 6-16 in their last 22 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- 3-8 in their last 11 games vs. the Flames.
- The over is 5-1 in their last six games playing on zero days’ rest.
- The over is 6-2 in their last eight games vs. Western Conference opponents.
- The over is 8-2 in their last 10 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Hot team? Check.
Playing a team that struggles on special teams on consecutive nights? Check.
The Flames are showing they have staying power in a very competitive Pacific Division, and while Arizona has shown an ability to compete on the back end of consecutive nights, “Johnny Hockey” and Calgary should keep rolling.
Prediction: Pick: Flames -263
Full-Game Total Pick
The Flames have scored four or more goals in six of their last eight home games, and the belief is that trend will continue given Arizona’s struggles on special teams when fatigued. Even a two-goal contribution from the Coyotes should result in a push at worst as the Flames keep rolling. With Smith in net for the Flames, that should happen.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 6 goals
Full-Game Prop Bet
A pick that stays consistent with Calgary being hot and being able to score at home.
Prediction: Pick: Flames OVER 3.5 goals
Half-Time Side Pick
This is a contrarian pick because the Flames have not led after the first period in any game during this winning streak and in their last six overall. But they do have 50 goals and a net plus-5 in the opening 20 minutes, so they’re worth a flyer here.
Prediction: Pick: Flames -0.5 goals +110
Half-Time Total Bet
A confidence pick in the Flames to score twice in the first period and send the game well on its way for the over to hit.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 1.5 goals (-130)