Nashville Predators vs. Calgary Flames Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Scotiabank Saddledome will be hosting a Western Conference showdown as the Nashville Predators head north to to face the Calgary Flames. The match will get going at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 16, and you can view it live on CBC Sports.

Nashville Predators vs. Calgary Flames Odds

The money line for each side is currently set at an identical -110, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-130 money on the over, +110 on the under). Those O/U odds have moved after initially opening at -125 over, +105 under.

Nashville is 20-11 straight up (SU) and has netted 7.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. 17 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Predators team is 9-7 SU on the road.

Nashville currently touts the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 27.1 percent of its extra-man opportunities this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked seventh overall, and it has successfully killed off 83.1 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, Nashville has been called for penalties 5.5 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 4.4 per game over its last ten. The team has had to defend opponent power plays an unhealthy 14.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Averaging 30.2 saves per game with a .927 save percentage, Pekka Rinne (17-7-3) has been the primary option in goal for Nashville this year. If Nashville decides to rest him, however, head coach Peter Laviolette might go with Juuse Saros (3-4-1), who has a .911 save percentage and 2.95 goals against average this year.

The visiting Predators have relied heavily on Filip Forsberg and Kyle Turris this season. Forsberg has 32 points on 15 goals and 17 assists, and has recorded multiple points eight times. Turris has seven goals and 18 assists to his name (and has registered a point in 15 games).

On the other side of the ice, Calgary is 16-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. 16 of its matches have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just one has pushed. This season, the teams 8-9 SU at home.

Calgary has converted on 18.3 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 76.7 percent of all penalties.

Calgary skaters have been called for penalties 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.7 per game over their last ten outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 6.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Mike Smith (28.4 saves per game) has been the top selection in goal for Calgary. Smith has 14 wins, 14 losses, and three overtime losses and has recorded a pedestrian 2.63 goals against average and a .918 save percentage this season.

The home team offense will be led by Johnny Gaudreau (13 goals, 26 assists).

Nashville Predators vs. Calgary Flames Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • Three of Nashville’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 1-2 in those games and 3-3 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone under in four of Calgary’s last five outings.
  • Nashville has managed 33.2 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Calgary is averaging 38.4 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Six of Nashville’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 5-1 in those games.