Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Scotiabank Saddledome plays host to a Western Conference matchup as the Calgary Flames take on the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. The action will get underway at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 31, and you’ll be able to view the game live on Sportsnet 360.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Calgary Flames Odds

Calgary (-135) is currently the favorite over Chicago (+115), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over).

Calgary is 18-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.0 units for moneyline bettors thus far. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 45-37 record that the team managed during the 2016-17 season campaign. Of the teams 38 regular season contests, 21 have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 9-11 SU at home this season.

The Flames have converted on 17.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 26th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 77.6 percent of all penalties.

The Flames, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 4.8 per game over their past five outings. The team has had to kill penalties for 10.6 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

With a .920 save percentage and 28.5 saves per game, Mike Smith (15-17-3) has been the best option in goal for Calgary this season. If the Flames, however, choose to rest him, the team may turn to David Rittich (3-2-2 record, .924 save percentage, 2.04 goals against average).

Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan will both lead the way for the Flames. Gaudreau (41 points) is up to 13 goals and 28 assists and has recorded multiple points on 12 separate occasions this year. Monahan has 17 goals and 15 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 21 contests.

Chicago is 18-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just two have pushed. The Blackhawks are 8-12 SU as the road team this season.

The Blackhawks have converted on just 15.3 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 28th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 14th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.5 percent of all penalties.

Chicago’s skaters have been penalized 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 3.1 per game over their past ten outings. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford (27.9 saves per game) has been the main option in goal for Chicago. Crawford owns a 16-12-2 record, and has registered a .929 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive attack for the visiting Blackhawks will be Patrick Kane, who has 16 goals and 22 assists this year.

Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • Two of Calgary’s last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 0-2 in those games and 2-3 overall in shootouts this year.
  • The under has hit in four of Calgary’s last five games.
  • This game features two clubs that have pounded opponents nets with shots. Chicago has registered the leagues third-most shots on goal (34.7) while Calgary has attempted the 10th-most (32.7).
  • Calgary has averaged 2.7 goals per game overall this year, but has been averaging 1.7 goals per matchup over its three-game losing skid.