Flames vs Islanders NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier
- The Flames are short road favorites against the Islanders on Monday night.
- With both teams playing the first leg of a back-to-back, Carol Schram breaks down how she is betting this matchup.
- Check out her best bet and analysis below.
Flames vs. Islanders Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Calgary Flames and New York Islanders will both be looking to get back on the winning track when the two squads square off at UBS Arena on Monday. The Flames are winless in their last four and will be kicking off a quick three-game Eastern road trip, while the Islanders saw their five-game winning streak get snapped in a 3-0 shutout loss in Detroit on Saturday.
Here's the latest on both teams and your best bet for the game.
Will the Shorthanded Flames Step Up?
The Flames were home at the Saddledome for nine of their first 10 games this season. They started well, going 5-1-0 before falling into a funk that has seen them squeeze just one point out of their last four games.
Despite coming into the season with one of the best defense groups in the league on paper, the Flames are allowing an average of 3.30 Goals Against per game, ranking them between the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens at 21st overall.
The Flames are dealing with some injuries on their back end. Sunday is a travel day so there will be no player updates, but steady Chris Tanev just missed his second-straight game with an undisclosed issue, and Michael Stone played only one shift before leaving Saturday's game. Oliver Kylington has also been away from the team for personal reasons. So, all of a sudden, that enviably deep blue line is looking a little thin.
In net, Jacob Markstrom's 2.84 Goals-Against Average and .900 Save Percentage are well below the performance that made him a Vezina Trophy finalist last season. But his 4.4 Goals Saved Above Expected rating suggests that he's actually doing pretty well within his playing environment. Backup Dan Vladar has been a little shaky, with a 1-2-0 record and .865 Save Percentage.
The Flames, of course, went through a huge offseason overhaul, saying goodbye to Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk while bringing in Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and MacKenzie Weegar.
Kadri is leading his team with 11 points in 10 games, but Huberdeau's adjustment to Western Canada has been bumpier. He has just five points so far.
Special teams have also sputtered during the Flames' current rough patch. They've gone four games without scoring a power-play goal, while the penalty kill has allowed an opposition goal in each of the last five contests.
Which Islanders Team Will Show Up?
Will the real New York Islanders please stand up?
Are they the squad that picked up regulation wins over quality teams like the Rangers, Hurricanes and Avalanche during their recent five-game winning streak, or are they the one that got shut out by the Red Wings on Saturday?
For the season, the Islanders are a solid 7-5-0. They'll play three of their next four games on home ice starting Monday, with just a trip into Manhattan for a rematch against the Rangers on Tuesday.
After a bit of a scare, it looks like the Islanders will have both of their goalies for that back-to-back set. Semyon Varlamov left Saturday's game for a stretch following a second-period goalmouth collision but returned for the third and finished the game.
Ilya Sorokin is off to an excellent start, boasting 7.2 Goals Saved Above Expected to go along with his .933 Save Percentage. But it's possible that coach Lane Lambert will save Sorokin for the inter-divisional matchup on Tuesday, which would put Varlamov up against the Flames. His Save Percentage is a decent .909 and he's 2-2-0 for the year.
The Islanders are tied with Boston as the fourth-stingiest team in the NHL, allowing an average of 2.5 Goals Against. Their penalty kill has also been strong, with a 90.5% Success Rate.
And so far this season, the Islanders have been able to score. They're averaging 3.42 goals a game, tied for 12th overall, although their power play sits 29th with a 13.5% Success Rate. The usual suspects sit atop the team scoring race: Brock Nelson has 13 points, Anders Lee has 12 and Mat Barzal has 11. However, all of Barzal's points have been assists. He's still looking for his first goal of the year.
Flames vs. Islanders Pick
Looking at Expected Goals Share at 5-on-5, there isn't much to choose between these two teams. The Flames rank 11th at 51.98%, and the Islanders are 16th at 50.77%. Their points percentage to date is also pretty close: .583 for New York and .550 for Calgary.
Without much to separate these two squads, Monday's outcome may come down to goaltending. And with both teams playing the first game of a back-to-back set on Monday, it's not immediately obvious which goalie will start for either side.
As of Sunday afternoon, BetMGM has the Flames as a narrow favorite at -115, implying 53.49% odds of winning. Though they're the slight underdogs, the Islanders are at home, healthier and will be better rested — and all of those factors make them appealing for bettors.
If Calgary elects to start backup Dan Vladar and save Markstrom for their rematch against the Devils on Tuesday, New York becomes an even better bet — even if it's another Varlamov start for the home side.
You may want to confirm goalie information on Monday before placing your bet. Based on what we know so far, the Islanders should hold a slight edge in the matchup.
Pick: Islanders Moneyline (-105); play down to -115