Thursday evening NHL action and the Pacific Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Calgary Flames pay a visit to the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec to rumble with the Montreal Canadiens. The Flames come in off a road game against Toronto on Wednesday night so they will be playing on no rest, while the Canadiens are off a 4-3 home loss to the Blues. Goalie Probables: The Flames will be sending out David Rittich and he will be opposed by Carey Price.
Flames Need Help In The Crease
The Calgary Flames have not been a great offensive team this year, but their bigger problem has been their play in the crease, especially of late. The Flames have a game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Wednesday night and prior to that game, they had lost six of their last 10 games. They allowed 3.80 gpg over that stretch, including 5.83 gpg in their last six loss over that stretch. They really need to clean up that or they will be a mediocre team the rest of the way and could very well miss out on the postseason. Mike Smith is expected to get the start on Wednesday night, so getting the nod in this one will be David Rittich and he has gone 1-1 with a 3.04 GAA and a .875 save percentage in two games (one start) on the year. That start was his lone start of his career and he He beat the Avs 3-2 on the road in that game, allowing two goals on 26 shot attempts in the game. Leading the team in scoring this year has been Sean Monahan, who has 15, while 2nd is Johnny Gaudreau at 12 and 3rd is Micheal Ferland with 11. Gaudreau leads them in points with 36. The Flames have gone 7-5 on the road.
The Flames come into this game ranked 18th in the league in scoring at 2.89 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots taken (32.5 spg) and 14th in power play conversions, converting on 20.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they enter this game ranked 24th in goals allowed, giving up 3.26 gpg, while also ranking 22nd in shots allowed (32.4 spg) and 28th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.7% of their chances.
Win Streak Ends With Loss To The Blues
The St Louis Blues have been one of the best teams in the Western Conference and they showed that by going into Montreal and winning by a score of 4-3. The Habs had been hot as they had won their previous five games, but that streak is now over and now they have to try and start a new one, but they have to be careful here as the Flames have played well on the road. Despite the loss, they have still outscored their foes 27-10 in their last six games and they have moved to 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. Scoring in the loss was Jordie Benn, which was his 4th of the year and Shea Weber, who scored twice and now has six on the year. The Habs have gone 8-8 here at home for the year. Taking the loss against the Blues was Carey Price, who allowed four goals on 30 shot attempts to fall to 8-9 with a 3.00 GAA and a .903 save percentage on the year overall, including 6-3 with a 2.31 GAA and a .919 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 156-126 with a 2.25 GAA in his home games and 63-70 with a 2.60 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Flames he has gone 4-5 with a 2.76 GAA.
The Canadiens have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 23rd in the league in scoring at 2.76 gpg, while also ranking 6th in shots taken (34.4 spg) and 20th in power play conversions, converting on 17.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average as they come in ranked 20th in goals allowed, giving up 3.07 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots allowed (30.9%) and 23rd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.1% of their chances.
- 7-15 in their last 22 games playing on 0 days rest
- 1-4 in their last five vs. the Atlantic
- 4-1 their last five games at home
- 8-3 in their last 11 games playing on one day’s rest
The Canadiens will be looking to get back on track after losing against the Blues here at home. They have been a good home team this year and Carey price is usually solid at home, but he is just 4-5 with a 2.76 GAA in his career against the Flames. Still, Calgary is just 2-5 in their last seven games overall and they will be playing on no rest in this one. The Habs have won five of their last six games and have allowed just 10 goals over that stretch, while the Flames have allowed 3.80 gpg in their last 10 games. Take the Canadiens in this one, especially since the home team is 15-6 the last 21 games in this series.