NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs. Flames (March 7)
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Lewis (Flames)
- The Oilers and Flames will face off in the Battle of Alberta on Monday night.
- The Flames are locked into the top spot in their division while the Oilers have struggled as of late.
- NHL betting analyst Carol Schram breaks down this matchup and provides a best bet.
Oilers vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Battle of Alberta is back, with a full house expected in the stands at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday when the Calgary Flames play host to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Flames are locked into top spot in the Pacific Division and are coming off a gutsy overtime win in Colorado. Meanwhile, the Oilers are dealing with injuries and shaky goaltending as they fight for their playoff lives.
Here’s the latest on both squads, and your best bet for the game.
Injuries & Goaltending Impacting Oilers
On Saturday night, the Edmonton Oilers fell out of a Western Conference wild-card spot, following a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
When Jay Woodcroft first replaced ousted coach Dave Tippett a month ago, the Oilers rolled out a five-game winning streak. Now, they’re 2-4-1 in their last seven games.
And while the spotlight tends to shine brightest on Edmonton’s goaltending issues, there are problems at both ends of the ice.
In their seven games since Feb. 20, the Oilers are scoring an average of one goal per game less than what they’re giving up — 2.71 goals for vs. 3.71 goals against. That’s not a recipe for success.
Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have been doing their bit — they’re still averaging more than a point per game, even during this rough stretch, and tied for the NHL scoring lead with 79 points each.
New addition Evander Kane has also been producing as hoped, with eight goals and 14 points in his 17 games as an Oiler.
But beyond that, secondary scoring is virtually non-existent. Only two other players have more than one goal over the last seven games — Derek Ryan (4) and Zach Hyman (2).
Roster depth is being tested, as injuries have become an issue. Up front, Zack Kassian practiced with a full cage on Sunday after missing 12 games with a fractured jaw, and has been activated from injured reserve.
But Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi remain on the sidelines, and on the back end, Tyson Barrie and Kris Russell are also out of action.
Then, there’s the goaltending. After Mike Smith lost his last four starts, it was reported on Sunday that he’s out with the stomach flu, and that Stuart Skinner is being recalled from the American Hockey League.
That sets up Mikko Koskinen to get the start against the Flames. The oft-maligned 33-year-old has been solid since returning from COVID protocols in mid-February, going 3-0-1 with a .924 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against average.
Flames On Hot Streak
Down in Calgary, the Flames are, so to speak, on fire.
They’re 13-1-1 since January 28 and during that time, they’re third in goals scored (4.20), second in goals against (2.27), sixth in shots per game (35.0) and fourth in shots allowed (28.6).
Elias Lindholm also has 24 points in those 15 games, and Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau are right behind with 20 each. Gaudreau’s 71 total points also now have him sitting fourth overall in league scoring.
In net, Jacob Markstrom has been a rock, as he’s fifth in total minutes played and leading the league with eight shutouts to go along with his .925 save percentage and 10.6 goals saved above expected.
Backup Dan Vladar has been steady when called upon (8-3-1 record), and delivered arguably his most impressive performance in a Calgary uniform in Saturday’s win in Denver.
Oilers vs. Flames Pick
Monday marks the third of four meetings this year between Edmonton and Calgary — and the first at the Saddledome. And though it seems counterintuitive based on recent events, the Oilers won the first two games of the season series by tidy margins — 5-2 back on Oct. 16 and 5-3 on Jan. 22.
Both those games hit the over. And while that has yielded many good results in the NHL this season, I wonder if Markstrom and Koskinen might out-duel these two scoring powerhouses this time around.
After looking flat against the Canadiens, the Oilers should be more engaged as they face their No. 1 rivals, with pressure mounting daily to earn points and hang onto a playoff spot that they desperately want.
But the Flames will also come to play. And at this juncture, they’re the better team — healthy, confident and firing on all cylinders.
Keep it simple here and back the home favorites to get the job done in regulation. As of Sunday evening, the 60-minute line offers some nice value at a reasonable -120.
Pick: Flames in regulation (-120); play down to -140