Islanders vs. Flames NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Target Saturday Night Over/Under (Saturday, Feb. 12)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Ilya Sorokin.
- The red-hot Flames are favored against the Islanders tonight.
- New York is trying to remain in the playoff race, although Calgary is a legitimate Cup contender.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Islanders vs. Flames Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-105 / 115)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
On the final game of their Western Canada trip, the New York Islanders visit Calgary to take on the Flames. It’ll be the final time both teams face off, with the Flames beating the Isles in the first ever game at UBS Arena earlier this season.
New York has played better since dealing with a terrible stretch, during which it has battled through COVID-related absences and injuries. The Isles beat Vancouver 6-3, scoring three goals in 35 seconds on Wednesday, and lost to Edmonton last night. The Islanders are 15 points out of a playoff spot, but they are not ruling that out yet.
The Flames have been absolutely dynamite over the last 10 games. They’ve won five straight and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games. Most notably, Calgary faced both the Golden Knights and Maple Leafs in a back-to-back, but it demolished both.
Islanders Need Late-Season Resurgence
After spending two consecutive years making the final four, the Islanders find themselves on the outside looking in of the playoff picture altogether.
The talent and experience is evident, but a Barry Trotz-coached team always has sacrificed offense. Guys like Mat Barzal, Brock Nelson, Oliver Wahlstrom and Anders Lee have put the puck in the net a good number of times, but they would like to see it more.
With a team built on defense and goaltending, the offensive numbers suffer. The Islanders currently 28th in expected goals per 60 with a 2.09 xGF/60 and 26th in generating high-danger chances. The Isles were historically poor on the power play, but they’ve been decent (by their standards) this year, scoring at a 17.9% clip.
With a solid defense corps and tremendous goaltending, the Islanders are sixth in high-danger chances allowed, and third in goals allowed.
Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov are an exceptional goaltending tandem, and it’s looking like the former is taking over the No. 1 spot. Sorokin this year is posting an exceptional .924 save percentage and a 5.7 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected), while Varlamov has a .916 save percentage and a -0.9 GSAx. Since Sorokin got the start last night in Edmonton, expect Varlamov to take the crease.
Calgary Looks Like Cup Contender
Calgary has an extraordinarily deep team that’s clicking on all cylinders. The Flames all season have placed at the top and are an immediate threat to contend for a Stanley Cup. They’re led by a powerhouse of forwards in Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane.
With such a deep front line, it’s no surprise that the Flames rank sixth with an xGF/60 of 2.9. They also give their opponents headaches by ranking 10th in generating high danger chances. With the man advantage, Calgary excels by scoring on the power play 21.5% of the time.
While their counterparts rely on defense and goaltending, perhaps the Flames met their match. Calgary is ranked second in high danger chances allowed, and second in goals allowed. It has a strong defensive corps in Southern Alberta.
Jacob Markstrom is having a season to write about. The hulking Swede posted his eighth shutout of the season on Wednesday, and stopped 46 out of 48 shots on Thursday. Markstrom is posting a .927 save percentage with an 11.0 GSAx. His backup, Dan Vladar, is no slouch either with a .911 save percentage and a -0.5 GSAx.
My guess is that if Markstrom already played a back to back, they’ll give Vladar the nod. Keep tabs on this situation.
While I generally think Calgary is an “over” team, this should be a game based off of defense and goaltending. Last night in Edmonton, the Islanders couldn’t get pucks past Mike Smith, and a high-powered Oilers team netted only three.
For the Flames, both of their recent five-goal outputs were against poor defenses.
For that, I see value in taking the under.
Pick: Under 5.5 (-115)
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