Sunday afternoon NHL action and a pair of teams from the Pacific Division will square off as the Calgary Flames duke it out with the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Calgary enters this game off a 7-4 home loss to the Sharks, while the Golden Knights are off a 4-2 home loss to the Wild. Goalie Probables: Mike Smith will get the call for the Flames in this one and he will be opposed by Marc-Andre Fleury.
Flames Take a Bad Home Loss To The Sharks
The Calgary Flames are still in the race for a playoff spot, but their chances may be fading a bit as they are now four points out of the 8th slot in the Western Conference playoff standings after falling to the San Jose Sharks at home by a score of 7-4. They finally got some offense in the game, but also allowed seven goals after they had allowed a total of seven goals over their last four games. They are now just 3-6 over their last nine games and they need to get back on track real quick or it will be very hard for them to get in the postseason. Scoring in the loss to the Sharks was Troy Brouwer, which was his 6th of the year, Mark Jankowski, which was his 13th, Johnny Gaudreau, which was his 23rd and Micheal Ferland, which was his 21st. The Flames have gone 20-16 on the road and they have averaged 2.89 gpg and have allowed 2.64 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Sharks was Mike Smith, who allowed six goals on 20 shot attempts before being removed in favor of David Rittich. Smith is now 24-24 with a 2.60 GAA and a .919 save percentage on the year, while out on the road he has gone 11-7 with a 1.97 GAA and a .944 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 90-158 with a 2.85 GAA on the road and 76-63 with a 2.39 GAA against the Pacific Division, while against the Golden Knights he has gone 0-1 with a 3.01 GAA.
The Flames come into this game ranked 20th in the league in scoring at 2.78 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (33.6 spg) and 25th in power play conversions, converting on 17.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been average as they enter this game ranked 15th in goals allowed, giving up 2.89 gpg, while also ranking 11th in shots allowed (31.6 spg) and 12th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.5% of their chances.
Struggles Continue For The Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights have an eight-point lead over the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division and they will be in the playoffs in this their first year in the league, but you have to wonder if they are starting to run out of gas as they come into this game having lost six of their last 10 games. They have been a strong home team, but they have fallen 8-3 to the Devils and 4-2 to the Wild in their last two games, which were at home. The Golden Knights are still 24-11 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.57 gpg and have allowed 2.63 GAA in those games. The Golden Knights need to get things turned around and build some momentum for the postseason or it will be a very early exit for them. Scoring in the loss to the wild was Erik Haula, which was his 4th in his last three games and 28th of the year and Ryan Carpenter, which was his 9th.
Absorbing the loss against the Wild was Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed three goals on 29 shot attempts to fall to 25-14 with a 2.26 GAA and a .927 save percentage on the year, including 12-9 with a 2.56 GAA and a .914 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 235-147 with a 2.43 GAA in his home games and 51-25 with a 2.21 GAA against the Pacific Division, while against the Flames he has gone 9-4 with a 2.14 GAA.
The Golden Knights have been very good on offense so far as they rank 2nd in the league in scoring at 3.34 gpg, while also ranking 10th in shots taken (33.0 spg) and 6th in power play conversions, converting on 21.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up 2.77 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots allowed (30.6 spg) and 16th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.6% of their chances.
- 3-10 in their last 13 when their opponent scores two goals or less in their previous game
- 0-4 in their last four road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 8-1 in their last 9 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game
- 16-5 in their last 21 vs. the Pacific
The Flames have been a better team on the road than at home, while Vegas enters this game off of two bad home losses to the Devils and the Wild. Both teams need this game in the worst way and I feel that the Golden Knights will get their act together here at home where they have gone a solid 24-11 on the year. The Golden Knights have a big edge on offense and Marc-Andre Fleury has gone 9-4 with a 2.14 GAA in his career against the Flames. I do not see the Flames pulling a surprise in this one as the Golden Knights grab a much-needed home win.