Ducks vs. Flames Odds, Pick, Preview: Can Calgary Pick Up First Home Win?(Oct. 18)
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Elias Lindholm.
- Calgary plays its first game of the season on home ice against Anaheim.
- The Flames are winless on the season, facing a 1-1 Ducks squad.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Ducks vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Calgary Flames return to their home ice after suffering a loss at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, while the Ducks of Anaheim have their first road game of the year which will provide them with quite a test.
Anaheim managed to grab a win in its season opener in dominant fashion, but fell back down to Earth in its second game of the year against the Wild. The Ducks will likely continue to regress back to their old ways.
Calgary is looking for a bounce-back performance in front of its home crowd, and it is likely to win big on the night of its home opener.
Ducks Are Ready for Another Down Season
It has only been two games, so the sample size is not large, but it appears that this is going to be another long year for the Ducks.
The most prominent issue for Anaheim last season was its inability to find any consistency on the offensive end of the ice, which continues to be the case through two games this season. The Ducks found the back of the net four times against Winnipeg in their opener, but followed that up with just one goal against the Wild over the weekend.
To add insult to injury, the Ducks rank 30th in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and have failed to generate much offense close to the net, as they rank 24th in high-danger scoring chances in 5-on-5 situations.
Most would think that what Anaheim lacks on the offensive end is made up for on the other end of the ice, but the defense has not provided much help.
This was a team that ranked in the bottom six in the league in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) last season with 2.4, and this year that number is now 3.09 which ranks them last in the NHL. The Ducks also rank in the bottom half of the league in high-danger chances against, further proving they can be exposed.
Luckily, Anaheim has two goalies in net that have done quite well for themselves. A starter has not been named at the time of writing on Sunday night, but John Gibson finished his lone start of the year with an SV % of .971, and Anthony Stolarz had a SV % of .953 against the Wild on Friday night.
Both are good options, but Anaheim goalies have faced an average of 38.5 shot attempts per game through two games, and whoever is in net will likely face some heat against the Flames in this one.
Flames Offense Looks Improved
As previously mentioned, Calgary came up short in its season opener against the Oilers, but there were a few things to be pleased with in the loss.
Calgary managed to rip off 47 shots on goals in the game, which is a great sign for an offense that finished 12th overall in Goals For in 5-on-5 situations last season. Calgary also walked away from that game having generated 10 high-danger scoring chances and had an xGA of 1.31, both of which rank it in the top 10 on a per-60-minute basis this season. Calgary is also just outside the top 10 in HDCA/60.
Last season Calgary ranked in the top seven in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes and high-danger chances against per 60, and it appears that its good defensive play has carried over into this season.
The sample size is only one game, but even in the loss, Calgary showed lots of promise.
Jacob Markstrom is expected to start in net for Calgary in what would be his second start of the season. He did allow four goals to get past him against Edmonton, but he will be facing an offense in Anaheim that is not nearly as high-powered, making his life a whole lot easier.
Ducks vs. Flames Pick
The home opener is enough to get any team going, especially after coming off of a loss to a division rival.
Calgary is the better team on both ends of the ice, and it should once again get plenty of shots off in this one, likely leading to several goals. Its defense should also have no problems against a bad Ducks offense.
The Flames get a chance to play another divisional opponent in this game, and they likely won’t let this one slip away, leading to a big win in front of their home crowd.
Pick: Flames -1.5 (+135) | Play down to +115
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