It feels like a lifetime ago that the Penguins handed Calgary its worst home loss in nearly 18 years – but there’s little doubt the Flames have forgotten as the teams renew hostilities Saturday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena.
Pittsburgh throttled the Flames 9-1 back on Oct. 26, and the Penguins are catching them at a great time as they eye a season sweep. Calgary has lost four in a row, most recently dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to Florida.
Flames vs Penguins Betting Analysis
Calgary might have one of the best records in the Western Conference, but that means little to oddsmakers, who like the host Penguins as comfortable favourites. Pittsburgh, which is coming off consecutive victories over the Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers, is a sizzling 27-8 SU in its previous 35 games as a fave between -110 and -150, and has 13 wins in its past 18 games vs. Pacific Division opponents. Calgary, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five road games.
It’s no surprise that this one carries a total of 6.5, with two of the league’s top offensive units in action. Calgary has been one of the most consistent over plays in the league for a while now, having gone 15-3 O/U in its previous 18 games. The Flames have also converted the over in 11 of their past 14 games vs. Eastern Conference foes. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has gone under in four straight as a favourite and five of its past six contests overall.
Goaltending was a major concern for the Flames going into the season, and has become a sore spot as they battle with San Jose for top spot in the Pacific. Calgary has allowed an average of four goals per game over the course of their current slide, and have dropped into a tie for 13th overall with the Arizona Coyotes at 2.91 goals-against per game on the season. Calgary’s save percentage of .900 is good for a tie for 19th overall with the St. Louis Blues.
You wouldn’t think a team with the kind of firepower the Penguins possess would find itself in a battle just to make the playoffs. But Pittsburgh has struggled to keep the puck out of the net at times, ranking in the middle of the pack with a 3.02 goals-against average. And the Penguins should consider themselves fortunate to not be lower on that list, considering that they allow a whopping 33.4 shots per outing – the fourth-highest average in the NHL.