Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their third and final head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Calgary Flames and the Minnesota Wild clash at the Xcel Energy Center for a Western Conference matchup. This one gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 9 and it can be caught live on Sportsnet West.

Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild Odds

Minnesota (-140) is currently favored over Calgary (+120), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -125 under, +105 over.

The Wild are 22-20 straight up (SU) and have recorded -0.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage is a slide from what the team managed during last years regular season (49-33). Of the teams 42 games this season, 23 have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and just two have pushed. This season, the team is 14-6 SU at home.

Minnesota’s converted on 19.5 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.7 percent of all penalties.

Minnesota, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.3 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over its last five contests total, and 4.2 per game over its last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for 11.2 minutes per game over its last five home outings.

With a .916 save percentage and 28.2 saves per game, Devan Dubnyk (16-11-2) has been the primary option in goal for the Wild this season. If the Wild choose to give him the night off, however, head coach Bruce Boudreau could turn to Alex Stalock (7-11-11 record, .915 save percentage, 2.70 goals against average).

Eric Staal and Mikael Granlund will each lead the way for the Wild. Staal (37 points) is up to 19 goals and 18 assists and has recorded multiple points in nine different games this year. Granlund has 11 goals and 19 assists to his name and has notched a point in 19 contests.

On the other side of the ice, Calgary is 21-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 22 of its outings have gone under the total, while 18 have gone over and just one has pushed. Calgary’s 9-9 SU as the road team this season.

Calgary has converted on 17.7 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 25th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.8 percent of all opponent power plays.

Calgary’s skaters have been called for penalties 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 4.7 per game over their last ten games. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays 9.0 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Mike Smith (28.6 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Calgary. Smith owns an 18-17-3 record, while registering a .920 save percentage and 2.56 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Flames, the offense will be facilitated by Johnny Gaudreau, who has 33 assists and 13 goals this season.

Calgary Flames vs. Minnesota Wild Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Wild, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in four of Minnesota’s last five outings.
  • Minnesota’s attempted 29.5 shots per game overall this season (ranked 29th in the NHL), and 32.3 across their last 10 outings.
  • The Wild are 13-12 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Flames are 5-10 SU in games where they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
  • Calgary is 2-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Minnesota is 2-1 in shootouts.
  • Minnesota has created 5.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 6.1 takeaways per game (ranked 25th overall).
  • Calgary is averaging 3.7 goals per game over the teams three-game winning streak.
  • Calgary is ranked sixth with 8.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward recently, as the team has created 9.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 11.0 takeaways over its last five.