Flames vs Canucks | NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Elias Pettersson
- The Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks go head-to-head in NHL action on Saturday night.
- Both offenses have an advantage over the opposing goaltender and our expert is expecting numerous scoring opportunities.
- Tony Sartori details his best bet for Flames vs Canucks below.
Flames vs. Canucks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
There is a Pacific Division tilt on Saturday evening with the sixth-place Vancouver Canucks hosting the fifth-place Calgary Flames.
High-scoring affairs are typically in store when these clubs square off. In fact, seven or more goals have been scored in five of the past six meetings.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as my Flames vs Canucks betting pick.
The Calgary Flames will need to continue to lean on their offense if they expect to secure the second wild-card spot. There have been seven or more goals scored in eight of Calgary’s past 12 games, a trend likely to continue in this matchup.
At 5-on-5, the Flames rank sixth in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60). Not only is this offense keeping things afloat, but Calgary would be firmly in a playoff spot if not for its awful goaltending.
After a strong campaign in 2022, Jacob Markstrom just can’t seem to figure things out this season. Through 57 appearances in the crease, Markstrom is 23-21-10 with a troubling .891 save percentage (SV%).
Based on his underlying metrics, positive regression is unlikely. Among starting goaltenders, he ranks 26th in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
While it is too little too late, the Vancouver Canucks have turned a corner since hiring head coach Rick Tocchet. Vancouver has been playing an incredible (and fun) brand of hockey recently and has now won 11 of its past 17 games, largely on the strength of its offense.
Over that span, Vancouver is scoring 3.41 goals per game. Forwards Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko have been nearly unstoppable during this stretch and defenseman Quinn Hughes adds a tremendous offensive presence at the blue line, albeit at the cost of defensive efficiency.
At 5-on-5, the Canucks rank just 22nd in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Backing up this inefficient blue line is goaltender Thatcher Demko, who is projected to start Saturday.
Demko is coming off a shutout performance against the tanking Chicago Blackhawks, but a hungry Flames team is going to be an entirely different matchup. Over his past three starts against Calgary, Demko is 0-2-1 with a fadeworthy .860 SV% and a 5.25 GAA.
Flames vs. Canucks Pick
Vancouver’s strong offensive play is likely to continue against the struggling Markstrom. Over his past four starts against the Canucks, he possesses a disappointing .870 SV% and a 3.20 GAA.
Both of these offenses tend to light up the scoreboard, especially against these two goaltenders. There have been seven or more goals scored in five of the past six games between these clubs, a trend likely to continue Saturday night.
Pick: Over 6.5 | Play to -130
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