Pittsburgh Penguins (7-5-1; 3-10 ATS; 8-5 O/U) vs. Calgary Flames (6-6; 5-7 ATS; 5-61 O/U)
NHL: Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 9:00pm EST
Line: Calgary -120/Pittsburgh +100
The Calgary Flames will look to snap a two-game skid when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday evening from the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Penguins are coming off a 7-1 road loss to the Jets, and take on the Oilers Wednesday night, and the Flames edged the Capitals by a 2-1 score in their latest action. The Flames won both games against the Penguins in a shootout last season.
Penguins Continue Long Road Trip
The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the fourth game of a five-game road trip in this contest. They own a 3-5 road record on the season heading into Wednesday’s game against the Oilers. The Penguins are led by Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel who have both tallied 13 points on the season. Kessel has registered four points in his last four games and is a minus one on the season. The 30-year old sniper has collected eight points in 16 career games against the Flames. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has slowed up as of late, recording only one point over his last five games. The 30-year old center did get off to a hot start and has now netted five goals along with six assists on the season. Pittsburgh has not been scoring many goals over their last five games, and are now scoring an average of 2.8 goals per game, ranking them 22nd in the NHL.
The Penguins could opt to go with Tristan Jarry in net in this one after Murray gets the start Wednesday night in Edmonton. Jarry was recently called up from the AHL and posted a 3.18 GAA and a .897 save percentage in his time with the Penguins affiliate. The Penguins are struggling defensively, allowing an average of 3.8 goals per game, placing them down at 29th overall.
Flames Looking to Ignite Sluggish Offense
The Calgary Flames have not been able to get in a rhythm offensively this season but were able to edge the Capitals by a 2-1 score in their latest contest. Sean Monahan scored the game-winning goal and fired four shots on net in the victory. The 23-year old center is having a strong season, sitting second in team scoring with six goals and four assists. Flames’ leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau collected two more assists in the win over Washington. The playmaking left-winger has recorded a point in all but two games this season and has tallied three goals along with 12 assists on the season. Gaudreau has recorded five points in six career games against the Penguins. Calgary has only won two out of their last six games to bring their record to an even .500. They are struggling to score goals, averaging only 2.2 goals per game, ranking them 30th in the NHL.
The Flames are expected to give the nod in goal to Mike Smith in this contest. The 35-year old goaltender is having a strong season, sporting a 2.31 GAA and a .931 save percentage to go along with a 6-5 record. Calgary is allowing an average of 2.8 goals per game, placing them eighth overall.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are:
- 0-6 in their last 6 games when playing on zero days of rest.
- 0-4 in their last four games when playing their third game in four nights.
The Calgary Flames are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 games against the Penguins.
- 6-2 in their last 8 games against the Metropolitan division
I am going with the Flames in this contest. The Penguins have been awful defensively and have also received weak goaltending. Every single player on the Penguins roster owns a minus rating, and the combination of Malkin, Kessel and Crosby are a minus 15. Pittsburgh has struggled on the road, allowing an average of 4.6 goals in their last six road games, so this is a good chance for the Flames to get back on track offensively, plus the Penguins have really struggled when playing their second game in as many days.