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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Predators (November 2)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Predators (November 2) article feature image

Derek Leung/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob Markstrom

Flames vs. Predators Odds

Predators Odds+120
Flames Odds-140
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Calgary Flames have quietly been one of the best teams in the National Hockey League to start of the 2021/22 campaign. Calgary has won six in a row, with five of those victories coming on the road.

The Flames will look to make it seven in a row with a win over the Nashville Predators, who come in on a three-game win streak of their own.

Although this isn’t necessarily a matchup that you circle on the calendar, I’m expecting a fun tilt in Alberta on Tuesday night.

Nashville’s Goaltending Is the Key to Success

The Nashville Predators will go as far as Juuse Saros takes them this season. Saros was one of the best netminders down the stretch in 2020/21 and he’s been strong out of the gates with a .919 save percentage and a +0.8 Goals Saved Above Expectation (GSAx), per MoneyPuck.

The Preds need their goaltender, whether it’s Saros or back-up netminder Connor Ingram, to be above-average because this team is not built to shoot the lights out. Nashville is currently 31st in creating high-danger scoring chances and 26th in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes.

It’s always a bad sign when a defensemen leads your team in scoring and that was the case for Nashville last season with Roman Josi pacing the team in scoring. The Swiss rearguard is doing it again this campaign with three goals and six assists in eight games.

And as tepid as their offensive output may be, the Predators are playing well in front of their goaltenders, allowing just 1.93 expected goals and 8.75 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 this season.

The Flames are Scorching Hot

Because their neighbors, the Edmonton Oilers, are flying right now, the Calgary Flames are kind of flying under the radar. Not too many people around the league are talking about Calgary, which is a shame because the Flames are lighting it up, posting a +18 goal differential (25 goals for, 7 goals against) across their last six games.

It also doesn’t hurt that Jacob Markstrom has been playing at a Vezina Trophy level over the last two weeks. The Swede has stopped the last 65 shots he’s faced and currently ranks fourth among all goalies with a +8.0 GSAx. Markstrom’s .957 SV% also jumps off the page, though it is obviously unsustainable.

Calgary’s offense may not be creating a ton of scoring chances, it ranks 27th in high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, but the Flames are getting production from the top of the roster. Jonny Gaudreau is in fine form with 11 points, Elias Lindholm has seven goals and three assists and Andrew Mangiapane is breaking out with seven goals in eight games.

Predators vs. Flames Pick

The Predators are playing on the first night of a back-to-back, so there is a chance that they could sit Saros and let him face the Oilers on Wednesday night.

Either way, I think there is some value backing Calgary in this matchup. Both of these teams do a good job of limiting scoring chances against and neither is creating a ton of opportunities, but the Flames have a clear edge in scoring talent so I think they have enough of an edge to justify being -140 favorites on home ice on Tuesday night.

And given Calgary’s edge in the talent department, I would suggest that the Flames could be worth a look to get the job done in regulation. With the way Calgary’s offense is firing and with Markstrom in goal, I believe the Flames can get some separation in this contest, which makes me feel comfortable taking a shot on the three-way moneyline.

Pick: Flames in regulation (+110) or Calgary Flames ML (-140)

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