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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
Pittsburgh Penguins beat Calgary Flames 4-3
Calgary Flames cover
Over 6.5 goals
9-7-2 (4th in Pacific Division)
9-7-3 (5th in Metropolitan Division)
Elias Lindholm (16)
Sidney Crosby (27)
Nazem Kadri (8)
Sidney Crosby (10)
Rasmus Andersson (12)
Sidney Crosby (17)
Nikita Zadorov (10)
Richard Rakell (12)
Tyler Toffoli (3.28)
Shots (Per Game)
Evgeni Malkin (3.32)
The Calgary Flames with battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. The teams are having almost identical seasons, so this should make for a close game. In addition, the Flames went up against the Penguins on October 25, and Calgary won 4-1.
The Flames come into this game with the challenging task of ending a winning streak on the road. This will be especially difficult because their offense sometimes sputters and does not pull its weight. While Calgary has a few talented wingers and centers, they have been underperforming and struggling to score goals.
The Flames have many talented players and, on paper, should be playing better hockey. Elias Lindholm, Nazem Kadri, and Jonathan Huberdeau have all been offensive staples but are not quite performing to the level expected of them this year. This is not to say they are playing horrible hockey; they are just not playing to their potential. Elias Lindholm has 16 points (six goals, ten assists) but a +/- of -3.
Nazem Kadri has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) but a +/- of -7. Jonathan Huberdeau has been the quietest in the bunch. Huberdeau only has nine points in 15 games. While these three players need to step it up, it is worth mentioning Calgary has seen the resurgence of Tyler Toffoli this year. Toffoli was traded to the Flames mid-season last year and performed pretty well. However, he has turned it around this season and has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 18 games.
The Flames have tabbed Jacob Markstrom as their main netminder. Markstrom has started 14 games this season (and played in 15). The Swedish veteran has been mediocre but the better of two options. Markstrom is giving up 3.03 goals per game and has a .889 save percentage.
The Penguins have a similar squad to the Flames, but with a slightly better offense. The Pittsburgh offense has been rolling lately and is averaging four goals a game over the last five games.
The Penguins are seeing strong performances this season from the usual suspects. Sidney Crosby has been excellent and leads the team with 27 points (ten goals, 17 assists). The veteran is also playing over 20 minutes a game. Crosby often plays alongside Evgeni Malkin. Malkin, also a veteran, has eight goals and 12 assists. Jake Guentzel is the final player on this list. Guentzel is a little younger than Crosby and Malkin but sometimes outshines them. The 28-year-old has ten goals and eight assists in 15 games.
The Penguins have a solid goaltending duo of Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith. Jarry plays a little more than DeSmith, but DeSmith also receives a lot of playing time. That said, DeSmith has been outperforming Jarry this season and allows less than three goals per game. This is not a top goaltending duo, but they definitely cause problems for other teams.
This will be a close game, but the Penguins will win 4-3. Pittsburgh has momentum from their three-game winning streak and home-ice advantage.
The Calgary Flames have a difficult road matchup but can win if they have menacing defense and score a power play goal.
The Flames' defensemen will have their plate full with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel. While this is a tough task, it will not be their first time facing this trio. The Calgary defensemen must come prepared and play aggressively out of the gate.
The Flames do not have an outstanding power play unit, but they have the better one in this game. Calgary must draw penalties and take advantage of them by scoring with the man advantage.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the favorites but will only win if they shoot as much as possible and score first.
The Penguins are facing a Flames squad that only allows 27.9 shots per game. Pittsburgh needs to change that tonight and put up at least 35 shots. They should have no problem scoring at least three goals if they do.
The Penguins have scored the first goal in their previous three victories and been scored on first in their last two losses. The trend is obvious; the Penguins need to score first to win.
Rasmus Andersson is a starting defenseman for the Flames and leads his team in TOI. His stats are impressive, except for one. Rasmussen has a +/- of -4.
Rasmussen needs to step into his starting role and improve his game to become a better all-around player.
Kris Letang has been in the NHL since 2007 and still leads his team in TOI at 23:46. With that being said, his performance this season has not been so great. Letang has ten assists but also has a +/- of -10. Letang, like Rasmus Andersson, needs to step up his game.
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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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