The Calgary Flames (41-19-9, 1st in the Pacific) visit the Anaheim Ducks (28-31-12, 6th in the Pacific) in their fourth and final meeting of the season. This division series is 2-1 Flames this season, with the previous two meetings going to them in a 4-3 SO win and 6-2 home win. The first of their meetings was won by the Ducks in Calgary with a 3-2 OT win.
The Calgary Flames opened up as -260 favorites, with the over/under set at 6.0. The over has cashed two times in the last five Flames games, while the Ducks games have gone over that number just once in their last five games. Against the spread, the Flames are just 1-4 in their last five games, with the Ducks 3-2 in that same span.
Anaheim Ducks Captain, Ryan Getzlaf, announced yesterday that he will be retiring at the end of this season after 17 years. Will that news give the Ducks a spark in their game, or will the Flames shut it down and get back into their own groove? Continue reading to find out!
Can the Flames find consistency again?
In their last five games, the Flames have come into some struggling times. They are just 2-2-1 in that span, and for a team that is 1st in their division and 10th in the entire league, that isn’t good.
During that span, they have scored 19 goals and averaged 3.80 a game which is just over their season average of 3.46. On the back end, they allowed 22 goals with an average of 4.40 per game which is much higher than their season average of 2.46 GAA. The goal-scoring is there on the offense, but it’s the defensive end that really needs to turn around.
Star player, Johnny Gaudreau, has continued to shine this season with 95 points on the year, which is 4th in the league ranks. In his last five games, he has scored four goals, six assists, and 10 points, so look for him to be heavily involved in tonight’s game. Team leader in goals, Elias Lindholm (35), has three goals in his last five games, so look for him to also get on the score sheet.
This Flames team has been fun to watch this year, and with playoffs around the corner, it is time for them to find consistency again. Currently 7th in the league in goals for, they have all the skill they need to score goals with the help from Gaudreau and Lindholm.
In net, Jacob Markstrom will look to get back on the consistency train where he has helped his team earn the 2nd spot in GAA with 2.46 on the year. Look for a big turnaround from these Calgary Flames.
Will the Ducks find an end to their struggles?
Opposite of the Calgary Flames, the Anaheim Ducks are trending down as they currently sit 6th in the Pacific. In their last five games, they have a 1-3-1 record and just two wins in their last 15 games.
On the season, they have scored roughly 2.75 goals per game while allowing 3.17 goals per game. It is never a good thing when you are averaging fewer goals scored than goals allowed.
In their last five games, they have allowed 3.20 goals per game which is right around that season total, while their offense has been performing under their season average with just 2.20 goals scored.
Although they have struggled as a team, there are some bright individual players like Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras. Terry currently has 57 points on the season, which is 37 more points than his previous career-high, and also leads the team in goals with 31 on the year.
Rookie Trevor Zegras has continued to impress outside of his crazy goals with 50 points on the year so far and 3rd in rookie scoring. Look for these two to get back into the mix as the two have a combined seven points in the last five games.
With the offensive and defensive scoring advantages going to the Flames, they are the team to back tonight. With just two wins in their last five games and scoring below the season average, expect the Flames to find the back of the net against this struggling Ducks team who allowed six goals in the previous meeting.
With just two wins in the last 15 games, the Ducks will likely continue their struggling ways with no end in sight when playing one of the league’s top teams. Gaudreau and Lindholm will continue their dominance with Markstrom getting his mojo back as the Flames look to build some momentum going into the playoffs.
Free Pick: Flames -1.5 (+100)