Flames vs. Penguins Odds & Prediction | NHL Preview (November 23)
Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Calgary Flames left wing Jonathan Huberdeau
- The Penguins host the Flames on Wednesday night and look to avenge an early-season loss to Pittsburgh.
- Calgary is starting to find its stride and is on a 4-1 run overall.
- Below, Tony Sartori explains why he's targeting a team total as plus-money odds for tonight's game.
Flames vs. Penguins Odds
|Over/Under||7 (-124 / +105)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
This contest is the second meeting between these two clubs this season. Calgary won the first game, 4-1, in October.
Will the Flames take care of business once again, or can the Penguins grab a victory as a short home favorite?
Offense Firing for Calgary Flames
After a tough start in November, Calgary has started to turn it around recently and have won four of their last five games. The offense has been the primary driving force, with the Flames scoring at least five goals in three of those four wins.
This recent offensive explosion is not surprising given the amount of talent on this roster. It has taken some time for Calgary to adjust to its new-look roster, particularly dealing with the departures of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, as well as the the arrivals of Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau, and MacKenzie Weegar.
However, the overhauled roster is finally starting to find its rhythm, specifically Huberdeau. Over his last five games, he has logged two goals and two assists.
Perhaps the biggest part of Calgary’s recent offensive success is due to the emergence of the Ruzicka-Lindholm-Toffoli line. Since head coach Darryl Sutter paired Adam Ruzicka with those two talented forwards, the line has excelled with a 60% xGoals% through 60 minutes played.
Over their seven games together, Ruzicka has logged four goals and four assists. This line and team as a whole should have no difficulty keeping the scoring going against Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Penguins Trying to Hide Flaws
Like the Flames, the Penguins enter this contest in good form and have won five of their last seven games. However, their defense and goaltending still give some concerns.
At 5v5, Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half of the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). The Ty Smith for John Marino trade turned out to be a disaster for the Penguins as the defenseman is thriving in New Jersey while Ty Smith is in the minors.
This blue line has been extremely underwhelming in the defensive end, though those players are not getting the most help from their goaltending either.
Slated to take the crease for Pittsburgh in this matchup is goaltender Tristan Jarry, who has had an underwhelming season by his standards.
Through 11 starts, he is 6-3-2 with a .904 SV% and 3.27 GAA. He has now allowed four or more goals in five of his last seven starts, a trend that could continue against the Flames.
At 5v5, Jarry hovers around the league average in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60).
Flames vs. Penguins Pick
I’m going to keep things simple and back the trends here. Calgary has scored four or more goals in three of its last four games while Jarry has surrendered four or more goals in five of his last seven starts.
The Flames’ offense is better than what it has produced this season, which is a product of a new-look team still figuring things out. Huberdeau is starting to find his rhythm while the Ruzicka-Lindholm-Toffoli line continues to excel.
Meanwhile, the Penguins’ blue line has been underwhelming and is more than capable of surrendering four or more goals to a stacked Calgary offense.
Pick: Flames Team Total Over 3.5 (+120) | Play down to (+100)