PPG Paints Arena is playing host a cross-continent showdown as the Calgary Flames pay a visit to Western PA to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s the final time that these two clubs will go at it in the regular season. Sportsnet ONE will broadcast the game, which gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, March 5.
Calgary Flames at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds
Pittsburgh (-185) is currently favored over Calgary (+160) and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 7 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).
Pittsburgh is 37-29 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, ranked 2nd in the Metropolitan Division in this young season, is a regression from the 50-32 record that the team managed during last years regular season campaign. Through 66 regular season matches, 35 of the teams games have gone over the total, while 29 have gone under and just two have pushed. This year, the teams 24-9 SU at home.
The Penguins enter the matchup with the strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as the team has scored on 26.7 percent of their extra-man chances this year. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 13th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.6 percent of all penalties.
The Penguins, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.1 times per game overall this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five games at home. The teams had to kill penalties for just 8.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total.
Sporting a .909 save percentage and 25.7 saves per game, Matt Murray (25-16-2) has been the primary goalkeeper for Pittsburgh this year. If the Pens, however, choose to rest him, head coach Mike Sullivan could go with Tristan Jarry (12-10-10 record, .913 save percentage, 2.68 goals against average).
The Pens will continue relying on offensive production from Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. Malkin (79 points) is up to 36 goals and 43 assists and has recorded multiple points in 20 different games this year. Kessel has 27 goals and 47 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 45 contests.
Calgary is 32-34 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. A total of 33 of its outings have gone under the total, while 31 have gone over and just two have pushed. The Flames are 18-15 SU as the road team this season.
The Flames have converted on just 18.1 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that places them in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 16th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.5 percent of all opponent power plays.
Calgary’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.5 times per game this season, and 7.2 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to defend opponent power plays an unhealthy 15.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Mike Smith (29.0 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Calgary. Smith owns a 24-23-6 record, while registering a .921 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average this year.
Johnny Gaudreau (20 goals, 53 assists) has been one of the primary offensive playmakers for the visiting Flames.
Calgary Flames at Pittsburgh Penguins Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under
- Pittsburgh is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Calgary is 2-5 in shootouts.
- The over has hit in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
- This game features two offenses that put the puck on goal a lot. Calgary has registered the leagues eighth-most shots on goal (33.1) while Pittsburgh has attempted the third-most (34.4).
- Eight of Calgary’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 2-6 in those games.
- The Penguins this season have registered the seventh-most hits per game (24.2).