Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#51 Detroit Red Wings 6 vs.
#52 Calgary Flames -245
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 9:05pm EDT
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary
Written by Ricky Dimon



#51 Detroit
#52 Calgary


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The Detroit Red Wings will be hoping to halt their first two-game losing streak of the season when they visit the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday night.

Honeymoon over

The Red Wings have seen their fast start to the season slowed considerably after surrendering five goals in each of their last two setbacks. Anthony Mantha, who leads the team with six goals, picked up his team-leading ninth point after assisting on forward Dylan Larkin's goal 30 seconds into Tuesday's game against Vancouver. But it was nowhere near enough, as the Wings eventually succumbed 5-1 to the Canucks.

"It was unacceptable," Larkin admitted. "We're not good enough to come out and just throw our sticks out there and play hockey."

While Thursday's game likely will be old hat for defenseman Mike Green, fellow Calgary native Taro Hirose was understandably nervous when thinking about playing in his hometown.

"It's pretty exciting," the 23-year-old said after practice on Wednesday. "You never really, growing up, know if you're going to be able to play at the NHL level in that rink. I'm sure once we get there it will be a little bit more exciting. Right now. I'm just taking it day by day."

Tough to beat at home

The Flames enjoyed plenty of good fortune at home in 2018-19, and the early returns this season are projecting for more of the same. They hope to continue their success at the Scotiabank Saddledome when they conclude a brief two-game stretch, this time against Detroit. Elias Lindholm scored for the second time in as many games on Tuesday to boost his team-leading goal total to four as Calgary improved to 2-0-1 at the Saddledome with a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia. The 24-year-old Swede collected four points (one goal, three assists) against Detroit last season as the Flames won both encounters and seven of the last nine overall. Head coach Bill Peters was optimistic that second-line center Mikael Backlund will play against Detroit despite injuring his left foot while blocking a shot in the third period against the Flyers.

"Negative," Peters of the X-rays taken on the foot of the 30-year-old Swede. "Maintenance day today, but I think he'll play (Thursday). We'll give it time. I know he's going to work on getting treatment the rest of the day, get treatment in the morning, probably try it in the pre-game skate and if he's good to go, he'll be in."

Johnny Gaudreau, who leads the team with seven points, recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in Calgary's 5-3 win over Detroit on Jan. 2 of last season.

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Detroit has been unable to maintain its fast start, and that is putting it generously. Two woeful performance leave it lacking confidence heading into Thursday's trip to the Saddledome. Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk is tied for the team lead in assists with Gaudreau and he set up a pair of goals against the Red Wings last season. Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Detroit is 18-39 in its last 57 as a road underdog and 0-4 in its last four at Calgary. The Flames are 5-1 in the last six meetings between the two teams. It is also worth noting that the home team is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head matchups.

Prediction: Calgary Flames

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Detroit forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who picked up an assist on Larkin's goal on Tuesday, set up a pair of lamp-lighters in last year's season series against Calgary. Detroit's defense has been generous of late and Gaudreau and company should be able to capitalize. The over is 2-0-4 in the Red Wings' last six overall and 2-0-2 in their last four against the Western Conference. It is also 8-3 in the Flames' last 11 against the Atlantic Division and 5-2 in their last seven following a win. Additionally, the over is 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: Over

Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.