Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#33 Calgary Flames vs.
#34 Montreal Canadiens
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
Bell Centre, Montreal
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams from the North Division take the ice in the province of Quebec. The Calgary Flames are on the road as they make the trip east to face the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night. Calgary was in action on Tuesday night as they were on the road to face Toronto. The Flames stopped the Oilers 5-0 Saturday night in their previous contest. Montreal picked up a 4-2 victory on Monday night at home over Toronto in their most recent contest. In the season series, the Flames have taken three of the previous five meetings, including a 3-1 home victory in the latest meeting on March 13.

Calgary Flames Playing Second Game of Back-to-Back

Calgary was in action in Toronto Tuesday night in the front half of this back-to-back set as they try to gain ground in the playoff picture in the North Division. The Flames entered Tuesday fifth in the North Division, 22 points behind the Maple Leafs for the top spot and eight back of Montreal for the final guaranteed playoff spot. Calgary is 25th in the league in goals for as they put up an average of 2.61 goals per contest. The Flames are 19th in the league in goals-against by allowing three goals a night this season. Calgary is tied for 17th in the league in power-play success as they convert 20% of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Flames are 14th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully navigate through 80.3% of their shorthanded situations.

In Saturday’s game against Edmonton, the Flames put it all together against a disjointed, somber Oilers squad and rolled to a win. Calgary held a 10-7 edge in shots on goal in the opening period but the teams went to the dressing room scoreless after 20 minutes of play. In the second period, the Flames repeated that 10-7 shot advantage but outscored the Oilers 4-0 to lead by that margin after two periods of action. Sean Monahan opened the scoring with his eighth of the year at 3:12 off an assist from Andrew Mangiapane. Johnny Gaudreau made it 2-0 with his 14th of the season at 10:43 off assists from Mikael Backlund and Noah Hanifin. Elias Lindholm extended to a 3-0 margin with his 10th of the year, on the power play, at 13:21 with assists going to Mark Giordano and Gaudreau. Giordano capped the barrage with his seventh of the season at 19:25 off assists from Sam Bennett and Backlund. In the final period, the Flames held a 12-3 edge in shots and scored the lone goal of the stanza to put things on the ice. Brett Ritchie scored his second of the year at 13:30 off assists from Juuso Valimaki and Bennett to finish the scoring. Jacob Markstrom made 17 saves for the Flames, who held a 32-17 edge in shots, in the shutout win. He’s expected to get the start in goal again here.

Montreal Canadiens Looking to Solidify Playoff Position

Montreal snapped a three-game slide as they managed to double up Toronto at home on Monday night. The Canadiens entered Tuesday fourth in the North Division, 14 points behind Toronto for the division lead. They stood eight points ahead of fifth-place Calgary for the final playoff spot in the division. Montreal is 12th in the league in offensive production with 3.10 goals per game on the season. The Canadiens are 13th in goals against as they allow an average of 2.66 goals per contest. Montreal is 15th in power-play success by cashing in 20.6% of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Canadiens are 24th in penalty killing by successfully getting through 76.7% of their shorthanded situations this season.

In Monday’s game, the Canadiens took advantage of a somewhat fatigued Toronto team and managed to pick up the two points. The opening period saw Montreal hold an 11-3 edge in shots on goal and they took a 2-0 lead to the dressing room. Tomas Tatar opened the scoring with his ninth of the year just 1:17 into the contest off assists from Phillip Danault and Paul Byron. Later in the period, Nick Suzuki gave Montreal a 2-0 advantage with his eighth of the season, on the power play, at 7:53 with assists going to Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin. The second period saw the Canadiens outshot 11-7 and outscored 2-1 to hold a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. After giving up a pair of unanswered goals to tie the game, Josh Anderson restored Montreal’s advantage with his 15th of the year at 16:22 off an assist from Brett Kulak. In the third period, the Canadiens were outshot 9-7 but scored the lone goal of the period to salt away the win. Tatar hit an empty net for his second of the game and 10th of the season at 17:35 off assists from Byron and Jeff Petry. Jake Allen made 23 saves for Montreal in the win as the shots were even at 25 apiece. He is expected to be between the pipes again here.

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Calgary is playing the second game of a back-to-back here while Montreal had Tuesday off after playing at home Monday night. With that said, the Flames are in desperation mode as they sit eight points back with 15 games to go entering Tuesday. Calgary has to get hot (no pun intended) in a hurry and get some help. The Flames have a prime opportunity to pick up two points in the standings here as they face their closest pursuer. Montreal isn’t the same team without Carey Price or Brendan Gallagher, both of whom are sidelined currently. The Canadiens also lost Ben Chiarot to a broken hand, prompting Marc Bergevin to make trades for defensemen at the deadline. Calgary may be a bit tired but adrenaline fueled by desperation carries Darryl Sutter’s group to a road win here.

Prediction: Calgary Flames +130

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Calgary went into Tuesday night having seen the under go 20-16-5 in their contests on the year. The Flames have seen an average of 5.61 goals per game on the board in their contests this season. That number drops to 5.14 goals per game as the home team on the year. Montreal has seen the under post a slim 20-16-3 advantage in their 39 games on the season. The Canadiens have posted an average total of 5.85 goals per game, though that number climbs slightly to 5.95 goals a night as the road team. In the five meetings between the teams, we’ve seen them combine for two, six, two, three and four goals. The under is 4-0-1 in the five meetings this season and there’s little reason to think things will shift here. Look for the under to come in again.

Prediction: Under 5.5
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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