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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Calgary Flames will match up with the Nashville Predators for the third and final time this season. The Predators have beaten the Flames in their two previous games. Interestingly, the Predators won both games 3-2 in overtime.
Both of these teams are attempting to improve their seeding in the last few games of the season. The Flames have clinched the top spot in the Pacific Division but can finish the season with more points than the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild with some late-season wins. The Predators need two more points to clinch a Wild Card spot. They cannot win their division but are thirsting for a victory and the first Wild Card spot.
The Calgary Flames have been one of the hottest teams of the past three months. They have only lost 11 games in that time, and five of those losses have been in overtime.
The Flames have a handful of great players in left-wingers Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, center Elias Lindholm, and defensemen Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin. Gaudreau is a top-five player and has 111 points and 72 assists. His 111 points are the third-most in the NHL, and his 72 assists are the fourth-most in the NHL. Matthew Tkachuk complements Johnny Gaudreau; he has 101 points and a +/- of 55. Elias Lindholm is a center that plays almost 20 minutes a game and has 80 points, and defensemen Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin both play over 21 minutes a game and have a combined +/- of 55.
The Flames owe much of their success to their defense and goaltending. They have the third-best defense in the league and give up less than 2.5 goals per game. Their main goaltender is Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom has played in 62 games, and his 37 wins, 2.21 goals allowed/per game, and .922 save percentage are all the third-best in the league.
The Nashville Predators have not been nearly as good as the Flames in the last three months. They have played well but are much closer to .500.
The Predators have a mediocre defense but a couple of strong goal scorers in Matt Duchene and Flip Forsberg. Duchene and Forsberg have almost identical stats and have combined for 81 goals. The Predators best playmaker is defenseman Roman Josi. Josi is not much of a goal scorer but has 70 assists.
The Predators, like the Flames, have strong goaltending. Juuse Saros is their main goalie and has played in 66 games. He gives up over 2.6 goals per game but has 38 wins, the second-most in the NHL.
The Predators struggle on defense and give up almost three goals a game. They need to figure out how to slow opposing offenses down because they will likely face a top team in the first round of the playoffs.
The Flames are the better team and have a much better defense, so I am picking them to win.
Calgary beats Nashville 4-3. Predators cover, Over 6 goals.
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|Calgary Flames||Head-to-Head||Nashville Predators|
|Darryl Sutter||Head Coach||John Hynes|
|49-20-10 (1st in Pacific Divison)||Standing||44-29-5 (4th in Central Division)|
|Johnny Gaudreau (111)||Points||Roman Josi (91)|
|Matthew Tkachuk (40)||Goals||Matt Duchene (40)|
|Johnny Gaudreau (72)||Assists||Roman Josi (70)|
|Johnny Gaudreau (61)||+/-||Alexandre Carrier (24)|
|Johnny Gaudreau (3.24)||Shots (Per Game)||Roman Josi (3.51)|
The Calgary Flames are the obvious favorites, but they will only leave Nashville victorious if they draw penalties and take a lot of shots.
The Flames have a strong power-play unit that converts on over 23.6% of their opportunities. They need to draw penalties and get that power-play unit on the ice. This should not be too difficult; the Predators spend a lot of time in the penalty box and have an outrageous 984 PIM.
The Flames will likely go up against Roman Juuse in net for the Predators. Juuse is a decent goaltender but is not the best. Since that is the case, they have to overwhelm him with shots.
The Nashville Predators can win this game with strong defense and goaltender play.
The Predators are facing a tough Flames squad that scores over 3.5 times a game. They need to combat the Flames scoring with strong defense and a lot of hits. If they play tough defense and hit a lot, they will bring down the Flames’ energy.
After not playing last game, Roman Juuse will likely return to net in this game. He is well-rested, so he should play well. Regardless of what he should or should not do, he needs to play well to keep the Predators in the hunt.
I do not think there was a more obvious choice. Johnny Gaudreau is the best player on the Flames and constantly sets up his teammates.
Gaudreau does not need to do anything fancy in this game; he just needs to take the right shots and make the right passes.
This was also an obvious choice. Roman Josi may be a defenseman, but he knows how to set up his teammates.
Josi shoots the puck too much. He only converts on 7.8% of his shots. He needs to limit his shooting and pass the puck more in this game.
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|Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators Information|
|What||Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators|
|Where||Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee|
|When||Sunday, April 26, 8:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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