NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Canucks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Canucks article feature image

Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks.

  • The Vancouver Canucks host the Calgary Flames in Friday night NHL action.
  • These teams typically combine for plenty of goals and our expert is targeting the total again here.
  • Tony Sartori previews the game and shares his best bet below.

Flames vs. Canucks Odds

Flames Odds-129
Canucks Odds+106
Over/Under6.5 (-109/-112)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

There is a Pacific Division tilt on Friday evening with the sixth-place Vancouver Canucks hosting the fifth-place Calgary Flames.

High-scoring affairs are typically in store when these clubs face as seven or more total goals have been scored in four of the past five meetings.

Here's a look at the odds, as well as my Flames vs. Canucks betting pick.

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Calgary Flames

Fighting for their playoff lives, the Calgary Flames will need to continue to lean on their offense if they expect to have any shot at sneaking in (although it certainly helps that the Winnipeg Jets are imploding). There have been seven or more goals scored in five of Calgary's past eight games and that trend is 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 some awful goaltending.

Jacob Markstrom just can't seem to figure things out this season. Through 53 appearances in the crease, he is 21-10-10 with a .892 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.

Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks have turned a corner since hiring head coach Rick Tocchet and have been playing an incredible (and fun) brand of hockey recently. Vancouver has won 10 of its past 13 games, largely on the strength of its offense.

Over that stretch, Vancouver is averaging 3.8 goals scored per game. Forwards Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko have been nearly unstoppable during this stretch. Additionally, 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 Friday.

Demko got lit up by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday as he allowed six goals on 31 shots. We could see something similar occur against the Flames, a team Demko is winless against with an .847 SV% and a 5.59 goals against average (GAA) over the past two meetings.

Flames vs. Canucks Pick

Vancouver's strong offensive play should continue against the struggling Markstrom. Over his past three starts against the Canucks, he is 1-1-1 with an .889 SV%.

The potential absence of shutdown defenseman Christopher Tanev, who is questionable with an upper-body injury, will only make Markstrom's job more difficult. Both of these offenses tend to light up the scoreboard and seven goals shouldn't be too difficult to come by in this matchup.

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