Saturday evening on the NHL ice and we will see a pair of teams from the North Division square off as the Montreal Canadiens square off with the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. The Canadiens enter this game at 20-25 on the year while the Flames come in at 20-26. Calgary leads the season series 5-2.
The Habs Are Struggling At The Wrong TimeThe Montreal Canadiens enter this game in 4th place in the North Division, and they currently own a six-point lead over Calgary, which is in 5th place. Still, Montreal is not playing well, and that could eventually cost them down the stretch. The Habs lost game one of this set last night by a score of 4-2, and they have now gone just 4-7 over their last 11 games. Montreal is just 5-2 against the Flames this year, and another loss here would pull Calgary to within four points of them. Montreal needs their offense to get back on track, or they will continue to struggle down the stretch. Montreal has scored four goals in a game just twice over their last 12 games, and they have averaged just 1.80 gpg over their last ten games.
Scoring in the game-one loss was Tyler Toffoli, which was his 23rd of the year, and Joel Armia, which was his 6th. Absorbing the loss was Jake Allen, who allowed three goals on 30 shot attempts to fall to 8-13 with a 2.57 GAA on the year. Getting the nod for the Habs in this one will be Cayden Primeau. He has not played this year in the NHL but was 1-1 with a 2.52 GAA for the Habs last year. It was his only NHL action. Primeau was 11-3 with a 2.07 GAA for Laval Rocket (AHL) this year and 17-14 with a 2.45 GAA for them last year.
Team Stats & Rankings: Montreal enters this contest ranked 13th in scoring at 2.91 gpg, 6th in shots per game at 31.7, and 21st in power-play conversions at 18.9%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 16th in goals allowed at 2.82 gpg, 6th in shots per game allowed at 28.2, and 23rd in penalty kill at 77.2%.
Flames Grab A Couple Of Big PointsWhile Montreal is going one way, the Flames are going the other way. After a stretch that saw them go 1-8, the Flames have bounced back to win four of their last six games. They still have plenty of work to do to get into the playoffs, but grabbing a big two points over Montreal in game one of this set was big, especially since the Habs are the team they are chasing. The Flames still have one more against Montreal after this one, and that game will also be at home. Calgary has been getting it done at the defensive end of late as they have allowed a total of 11 goals over their last nine games. They could still use more offense down the stretch, but their goaltending has been keeping them in games. Calgary topped Montreal 4-2 in game one of this set last night.
Some 🔥 highlights from tonight's W pic.twitter.com/ndf4ADeMLT— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 24, 2021
Scoring in the win was Dillon Dube, which was his 8th of the year, Andrew Mangiapane, which was his 13th, Sean Monahan, which was his 10th, and Elias Lindholm, which was his 14th.Snatching up the win was Jacob Markstrom, who stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced to improve to 16-18 with a 2.80 GAA on the year.Louis Domingue will get the nod for the Flames in this one, and he will be making his first start of the year. Last year, he was 3-11 with a 3.81 GAA combined with the Canucks and Devils. He has gone 30-28 with a 2.53 GAA in his home games and 3-2 with a 3.07 GAA against the Habs in his career.
Team Stats & Rankings: Calgary enters this contest ranked 23rd in scoring at 2.63 gpg, 14th in shots per game at 29.9, and 18th in power-play conversions at 20.0%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 17th in goals allowed at 2.91 gpg, 10th in shots per game allowed at 28.6, and 11th in penalty kill at 80.9%.
- 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest
- 3-9 in their last 12 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Calgary is:
- The Home team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
These teams are headed in opposite directions and Calgary has taken five of the seven games in this series. Montreal has struggled overall, going just 3-7 in their last 11 games, and they have averaged just 1.80 gpg over that stretch. The Habs are also just 4-11 in their last 15 games away from home, and they are 0-3 at Calgary this year. The Flames are in desperation mode as they need to make up six points in a hurry. This is game two of a three-game set between these teams, and after the series, the Flames have to go on the road to face Edmonton for two. That makes this game even bigger for them, and I expect their desperation to shine through against the struggling Habs in this one
Full-Game Total Pick
The Canadiens have been struggling to put the puck in the net of late as they have averaged just 1.80 gpg over their last 10 games. Still, Montreal has averaged 3.14 gpg on the road for the year and the Flames have allowed 3.00 gpg at home. Calgary has not been a great offensive team but they have averaged 3.10 gpg at home and will be facing a goalie that has just two career NHL starts to his name. We also note that Louis Domingue has a 3.07 GAA against Montreal in his career. Lastly, the Over is 12-4-1 in Montreal's last 17 in the third game of a 3-in-4 days situation and 4-1-2 in Calgary's last 7 home games.