The Scotiabank Saddledome will play host to a cross-continent clash as the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Calgary to face the Flames. Sportsnet West will showcase the game, which gets underway at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 2.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames Odds
Pittsburgh is 8-6 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 0.1 units this year. Through 14 regular season outings, eight of its games have gone over the total, while five have gone under and none have pushed. As an away team in 2017-18, the Pens are 4-5 SU.
The Penguins have impressively converted on 29.6 percent of their power play chances thus far. That’s a nice improvement from last season, when they were ranked sixth in the league by scoring on 22.5 percent of their extra-man advantages. Their penalty kill has improved slightly, as they’ve gone from successfully defending 80.6 percent of all opponent power plays (ranked 20th overall last year) to 81.0 percent this year.
The Pens, as a collective unit, have been penalized 5.3 times per game during the 2017-18 season, a number that has regressed noticeably from last year’s 3.9 penalties per game. After serving an average of 9.3 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team’s had to stave off opponent power plays for a taxing 14.4 minutes per outing this year.
Averaging 27.1 saves per game with a .908 save percentage, Matt Murray (8-4-1) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. Murray played yesterday, however, so head coach Mike Sullivan may decide to rest him and instead go with Antti Niemi (0-3 record, .797 save percentage, 7.49 goals against average).
Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin will both be relied on to produce for the visiting Penguins. Kessel (15 points) is up to four goals and 11 assists, and has recorded multiple points in two different games. Malkin has six goals and eight assists to his nameand has registered at least one point in eight games.
Over on the other bench, Calgary is 6-6 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 12 regular season contests, six of its games have gone under the total, while five have gone over and just one has pushed. It’s 2-4 SU at home this season.
The Flames have converted on just 14.3 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 is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.6 percent of all penalties.
Flames players have been sent to the penalty box 4.6 times per game this season. Last year, that number was at 4.5, the second-worst mark in the league. After serving an average of 11.5 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays for 10.1 minutes per contest this year.
Mike Smith has denied 30.5 shots per game as the top selection in goal for the Flames. Smith has six wins and five losses and has registered a 2.31 goals against average and a .931 save percentage this season.
The Flames offense will be led by Johnny Gaudreau (three goals, 12 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
- The Penguins are 5-1 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 4-2 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total.
- After going 4-2 in games decided by a shootout last year, the Flames are off to a 1-0 start in shootouts this season. Pittsburgh was 4-5 in shootouts last year and has yet to participate in one this time around.
- The under has hit in three of Calgary’s last five games.