NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Golden Knights vs. Flames (April 14)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Golden Knights vs. Flames (April 14) article feature image

Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob Markstrom.

  • The Flames host the Golden Knights as home favorites on Thursday.
  • With the Golden Knights getting healthier, is there value on the road dogs?
  • Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and shares her best bet below.

Golden Knights vs. Flames Odds

Golden Knights Odds+135
Flames Odds-160
Over/Under6 (-110/-110)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

With the Vegas Golden Knights fighting for their playoff lives, their three-game Canadian road trip will touch down in Calgary on Thursday night when they take on the Flames.

The Golden Knights are getting healthier but still sit three points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with just eight games left on their schedule.

As for the Flames, they're comfortably perched atop the Pacific Division standings and riding a five-game winning streak as they enjoy a three-game homestand.

Here's the latest on both teams and your best bet for Thursday's game.

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Golden Knights Get Pacioretty and Stone Back

The big news around the Golden Knights is that Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone are back the lineup after injury absences. Pacioretty scored in his return, a 6-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes last Saturday. Stone was held pointless in his first game back, the Golden Knights' 5-4 overtime loss in Vancouver on Tuesday.

So the first line is finally intact, and goaltender Robin Lehner is also back between the pipes. He's 2-1-1 since returning from his latest injury, but his .888 Save Percentage and 3.23 Goals Against Average don't offer much reassurance for nervous Knights fans who are new to these worries about a possible playoff miss.

And Vegas is still far from healthy. William Carrier, Nolan Patrick and Laurent Brossoit were all moved to long-term injured reserve on Tuesday to clear salary-cap space for Stone's return. Forward Reilly Smith and defenseman Nic Hague are the other regulars who remain on the sidelines.

Vegas has been through deep slumps and giddy highs this year, so their season averages don't offer much of an indication of how they'll perform on any given night. A perfect example is their Power Play, which went 3-for-5 in a 6-1 win over Nashville on March 24, but has since gone 0-for-18 over seven subsequent games.

The Vegas Penalty Kill has also been a liability lately, giving up five goals during 10 times shorthanded over the last four games.

Flames Looking to Continue Their Divisional Dominance

After doing some heavy lifting earlier in the season, the Calgary Flames are now biding their time and fine-tuning their game, getting ready to bring their best when the playoffs begin.

Calgary is the one team that looks like it has the jam to challenge the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference — third in the league in Expected Goals Share at 5-on-5 and comfortably in the top 10 in offense, defense, Power Play and Penalty Kill. Plus, Jacob Markstrom's 11.7 Goals Saved Above Expected and his .924 Save Percentage with a league-leading nine shutouts give the Flames an outstanding last line of defense.

The Flames will come into Thursday's game against Vegas after five straight wins against other divisional rivals. They've outscored their opponents by a total of 21-10 in those five games, and backup Dan Vladar has spelled off Markstrom a bit, picking up two of the wins.

As well as proving that a veteran coach like Darryl Sutter still knows what it takes to build an NHL winner in the 2020s, the Flames have also benefitted from being one of the healthiest teams in the league this season. Forward Sean Monahan is now out after undergoing season-ending hip surgery, and defensemen Oliver Kylington and Erik Gudbranson are currently listed as day-to-day.

Golden Knights vs. Flames Pick

Thursday's game will be the third and final meeting of the season between these two teams. Both sides have won their home games, with Vegas taking a 3-2 victory at T-Mobile Arena in December before the Flames won 6-0 at the Saddledome in early February.

The Flames are also among the toughest teams to play against on their home ice, with a record of 22-8-7 for the season.

Is Calgary due for an off night? Perhaps — although it has only been a couple of weeks since they struggled through an 0-2-1 stretch on home ice. Darryl Sutter probably hasn't let his charges forget about that just yet.

Also, if the Golden Knights can punch their playoff ticket, there's an outside chance that Calgary and Vegas could meet, perhaps even as early as the first round. The Flames won't want to allow a potential opponent to build confidence on their watch.

The Flames' four most recent wins have all come by multi-goal margins. If you're feeling bold, lock in on Calgary on the puck line at +155. A more cautious wager that could still deliver good value is a 60-minute Flames win at +100.

Pick: Flames in Regulation (+100) | Play down to -115

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