No. 4 Dallas Stars (3-3) vs. No. 1 Calgary Flames (3-3)
There is nothing like a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and this should be a great battle as the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames will determine who will advance in the playoffs and who will go home. Dallas forced the decisive contest with a 4-2 victory in Game 6. The home team has now won four of the six games in the series, including each of the last two games.
Calgary enters as the favorite at -195 with the odds set for Dallas at +160. When giving up 1.5 goals, the Flames come in at +140 while the Stars are at -165 when receiving 1.5 goals. The total is set at 5.5 (over: +120, under: -140).
Oettinger Stellar in Evening SeriesJake Oettinger continues to deliver for Dallas, stopping 36 of 38 shots as the Stars earned a 4-2 victory. Oettinger now has a 1.69 goals-against average to the first six games of this series, posting a .954 save percentage. The netminder has held the Flames to two goals or fewer in four of the six contests. His 1.69 GAA is fifth-best among playoff goaltenders, but his .954 save percentage leads all playoff netminders.
Dallas did not have a very good penalty-killing unit entering the postseason, 19th overall at 79.0% during the regular season. However, they have stepped up their game in the postseason, posting a 90.5% efficiency. The team is struggling on the power-play, only connecting on 8.7% of their chances, but they will take the offset if they can shut down this potent Flames power-play.
Michael Raffi and Roope Hintz each had a goal and an assist in the Game 6 victory. Hintz is second on the club with four points while Raffi is tied for third with three. Dallas has only scored 12 total goals in the series. Joe Pavelski leads the team with three goals and five points, however, he has not scored a goal since Game 3.
Markstrom Outdueled in LossJacob Markstrom allowed three goals on 39 shots as Calgary struggled to produce any offense in the loss. While the Flames have lost three games in the series, there is no blaming Markstrom for that. He has been nothing short of brilliant, posting a 1.52 GAA and a .945 save percentage. His goals-against average is tops in the playoffs and he trails only Oettinger in save percentage among playoff goaltenders. Markstrom has held Dallas to two goals or fewer in four contests.
Game 6 by the numbers. pic.twitter.com/RqfPfEmBGD— y - Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) May 14, 2022
While Markstrom has held the Stars to only 12 goals in the playoffs, Calgary has not been any better, producing 12 goals as well. Their power-play is connecting on only 9.5% of opportunities after hitting on 22.9% during the regular season, 10th overall. The Flames are getting their opportunities, averaging 36.7 shots per game, fifth-most in the playoffs.
Johnny Gaudreau leads the club with five assists and six points. He has a four-game point streak heading into Game 7. Linemates Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk each have four points, but this trio is going to have to dominate this contest for Calgary to advance. The group recorded 301 total points during the regular season, but has 14 combined points in this series.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is why a team battles for the top record in the division. That is so that they can host a Game 7 should it become necessary. The truth is that the Flames are the better team. They were sixth in goals per game during the regular season (3.46) and third in goals allowed per game (2.51). However, goaltending becomes a great equalizer during the playoffs, and Oettinger has been brilliant.
This is for all the marbles, however. This is the game that Calgary shows that they are the far superior team. While Dallas will put up a valiant effort, the stars are not going to align for them in this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
Five of the six games in the series have seen five goals or fewer scored. Neither of these teams can generate much offense, as the two netminders have been absolutely brilliant, allowing, on average, about three goals per game total. That is absolutely ridiculous.
The defensive game plans for both teams are great, and there is no reason to think it is going to change in this contest. Look for another tight-checking affair where the Flames pull away at the end.
Take Calgary to win, 4-1.