National Hockey League action on Saturday afternoon and the Central Division will hookup with the Pacific Division as the Colorado Avalanche rumble with the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome in Alberta, Calgary. The Avs come in off a 3-2 OT loss to the Oilers on the road, while the Flames are off a 5-2 road win over the Coyotes. Goalie Probables: Semyon Varlamov will get the call for the Avalanche and he will be opposed by David Rittich.
Avalanche Fall To Oilers In OT
The Colorado Avalanche continue to hang in the playoff race in the Western Conference as they are currently just three points out of the 8th slot, but they are not playing all that well at the moment as they have lost nine of their last 14 games after taking a tough 3-2 OT loss to the Edmonton Oilers on the road. The Avs were down 2-0 in the game, but they got a goal from Samuel Girard with just 19 seconds left in the 2nd period to and then another from Colin Wilson just 50 seconds into the 3rd period to tie it, but they could grab the go-ahead goal and eventually lost the game in OT. For Girard, it was his 3rd of the year and for Wilson, it was his 6th of the year. The Avs really need to get their offense back on track if they hope to make an appearance in the playoffs. They come in having averaged just 2.20 gpg in their last 10 games. Colorado has gone 12-19 on the road and they have averaged 2.68 gpg and have allowed 3.48 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Oilers was Semyon Varlamov, who allowed three goals on 46 shot attempts to fall to 15-15 with a 2.87 GAA and a .913 save percentage on the year, including 6-10 with a 3.30 GAA and a .896 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 78-95 with a 2.91 GAA on the road and 36-46 with a 2.91 GAA against the Pacific Division, while against the Flames he has gone 6-7 with a 2.98 GAA.
Colorado has been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 9th in the league in scoring at 3.08 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots taken (29.5 spg) and 16th in power play conversions, converting on 20.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 19th in goals allowed, giving up 2.98 gpg, while also ranking 25th in shots allowed (33.0 spg) and 3rd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.7% of their chances.
Flames Scorch the Coyotes On The Road
The Calgary Flames are in the race for a playoff spot as they are just one point out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference and just two points out of 3rd place in the Pacific Division. They come in off a nice 5-2 road win over the Arizona Coyotes and they needed the win after falling 7-3 in Vegas the night before. It was a nice bounce-back game for them. Despite the win, they have still gone just 3-5 in their last eight games so they are not playing all that well at the moment, but still, they have a very good shot at making the playoffs. Scoring in the win over the Coyotes was Sam Bennett, which was his 6th of the year, Johnny Gaudreau, which was his 20th, Sean Monahan, which was his team-leading 28th, Mark Jankowski, which was his 11th and Matthew Tkachuk, which was his 24th. The Flames have gone 13-18 here at home and they have averaged 2.68 gpg and have allowed 3.13 gpg in those games.
Snatching up the win against the Coyotes was Jon Gillies, who stopped 35 of the 37 shots that he faced in the game. It was his first start of the year and the 2nd of his career. He has now gone 2-0 with a 2.54 GAA and a .913 save percentage in his NHL career. David Rittich is slated to get the start in this one and he will be looking to bounce back from a 7-3 loss to the Golden Knights in his last start. He allowed all seven goals in the game. Rittich is 6-7 with a 3.03 GAA and a .902 save percentage on the year, including 0-3 with a 4.38 GAA and a .842 save percentage here at home. This is his first year in the league and is 1-0 with a 2.03 in his lone start against the Avs.
The Flames come into this game ranked 18th in the league in scoring at 2.82 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots taken (32.8 spg) and 23rd in power play conversions, converting on 18.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid as they enter this game ranked 16th in goals allowed, giving up 2.89 gpg, while also ranking 17th in shots allowed (32.1 spg) and 17th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.2% of their chances.
- 7-24 in their last 31 vs. the Pacific
- 21-47 in their last 68 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- 9-2 in their last 11 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
- 6-1 in their last seven vs. the Central
This is a tough one as the Avs have gone just 12-19 on the road for the year, while the Flames have gone just 13-18 here at home. The Avs are very inconsistent right now and I feel that the Flames will be able to take this one, even though Rittich is 0-3 with a 4.38 GAA here at home. He did beat the Avs in his lone start against them by a score of 3-2, while Semyon Varlamov has gone just 6-7 with a 2.98 GAA in his career against the Flames. The Flames have played a lot of hockey of late, but we do note that they are 13-3 in their last 16 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation, while the Avs have lost for of their last five trips to Calgary. Take the Flames in this one.