Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Game Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Scotiabank Saddledome will be hosting a Western Conference matchup as the Colorado Avalanche take on the Calgary Flames. The first puck will drop at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, and you can catch it live on Sportsnet West.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames Odds

Colorado is 32-28 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 8.7 units this season. 32 of its outings have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just three have pushed. The Avs are 12-19 SU as an away team in 2017-18.

Colorado has converted on 20.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, it has the third-strongest penalty kill in the league, and the teams successfully killed off 83.2 percent of its penalties.

Colorado, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.0 times per game in the 2017-18 season, and 3.2 per game over its past ten contests. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

With a .913 save percentage and 28.4 saves per game, Semyon Varlamov (16-18-3) has been the top option in goal for Colorado this season. If it chooses to rest him, however, head coach Jared Bednar might turn to Jonathan Bernier (17-13-2), who has a .914 save percentage and 2.82 goals against average this year.

The visiting Avalanche have relied on Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen this season. MacKinnon has 65 points via 25 goals and 40 assists, and has recorded two or more points 19 times. Rantanen has 19 goals and 37 assists to his name (and has registered a point in 36 games).

On the other side of the ice, Calgary is 31-31 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 62 regular season outings, 31 of its games have gone under the total, while 30 have gone over and just one has pushed. It’s 13-18 SU at home this season.

Calgary has converted on just 18.6 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that places it in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.9 percent of all penalties.

Calgary players have been sent to the penalty box 4.3 times per game in total this season, and 5.6 per game over their past five contests. The teams been forced to kill penalties a whopping 15.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Mike Smith has stopped 29.0 shots per game as the primary selection in goal for Calgary. Smith has 24 wins, 23 losses, and six overtime losses and has maintained a 2.53 goals against average and a .921 save percentage this season.

Johnny Gaudreau (20 goals, 53 assists) will pace the offensive attack for Calgary.

Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Betting Picks

Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Flames, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Colorado has managed 30.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Calgary is averaging 36.0 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • The Avalanche are 10-13 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Flames are 13-13 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
  • Calgary (2-5 in shootouts) has more shootout experience coming into this one. Colorado has only participated in two shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
  • Calgary is ranked 8th in the league this season with 8.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as the team has managed 7.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.4 takeaways over its last five.
  • Colorado is ranked 21st this season with 6.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower, however, as the team has managed 5.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.4 takeaways over its last five.