NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wild vs. Flames
Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Filip Gustavsson (Wild)
- The Flames host the Wild as part of the NHL's Saturday night slate.
- Calgary enters as losers of four straight, while Minnesota has racked up three consecutive wins.
- Carol Schram digs into this matchup and offers up her best bet below.
Wild vs. Flames Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Get set for a low-scoring affair when the Minnesota Wild visit the Calgary Flames on Saturday’ night.
The Wild are red hot with wins in seven of their past eight games, but they’re earning those points primarily on the strength of their strong defensive play.
The Flames aren’t scoring much and aren’t getting the saves they need. As a result, they’re 0-2-2 in their past four games and have slipped to five points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.
Here’s the latest on both squads, and your best bet for Saturday’s matchup.
The Wild spent February finding their playoff form, and general manager Bill Guerin also made some upgrades to the roster.
After losing their first three games following the All-Star Break, Minnesota has since gone 8-1-2. Over those 11 games, the Wild have given up just 17 goals with Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson sharing the goaltending duties.
Fleury got the win in Minnesota’s Thursday game in Vancouver. That suggests Gustavsson, with his 18.3 goals saved above expected, will likely get the nod against the Flames.
Minnesota’s penalty kill has also been airtight. On Thursday in Vancouver, it surrendered the club’s first goal in 13 games while shorthanded.
That kind of defending has allowed the Wild to pick up points while scoring just 1.91 goals per game. And a good part of that offense has been coming off the stick of Kirill Kaprizov.
He has 10 goals in Minnesota’s past 10 games, including both goals in Vancouver. That gives Kaprizov 39 for the year and a strong shot at hitting 50 for the first time. However, the Wild have just two other 20-goal scorers: Mats Zuccarello and Joel Eriksson Ek.
As a result, Guerin focused on boosting the offense with his trade-deadline moves. Most importantly, he acquired defenseman John Klingberg, who could serve as an effective powerplay quarterback. He also brought in big depth center and Stanley Cup winner Oskar Sundqvist, and winger Marcus Johansson, who previously did a tour of duty with the Wild in the 2020-21 season. Finally, he added injured winger Gustav Nyquist and sent Jordan Greenway to Buffalo in exchange for a pair of draft picks.
Over the same three weeks where the Wild have been soaring, the Flames have been sputtering. They’re scoring 3.2 goals a game, but giving up 3.4. And their penalty kill has been at a grim 71.4%. That adds up to a 2-4-3 record since Feb. 10 with three goals or fewer scored in nine of those 10 games and three goals or more allowed in seven of them.
At 5-on-5, the Flames are second in the NHL with an expected goals rate of 61.41% over the past 10 games. They put plenty of pucks on net, averaging 37 shots a game, and their team shooting percentage of 8.7% is second-best in the league through that stretch.
They’ve also given up only an average of 23.3 to their opponents, the lowest in the league. But those 34 goals allowed on 233 shots over the past 10 games add up to a team save percentage of just .850. That’s not going to get a team into the playoffs, even with so few chances surrendered.
Wild vs. Flames Pick
Every streak has to end sometime and the oddsmakers seem to think Saturday will be that day as they make Calgary a significant favorite in this spot.
While the Flames are struggling to find something positive to rally around, the Wild are playing disciplined, decisive hockey. There’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue on Saturday night, which presents a very enticing betting opportunity.
Back Minnesota to grab a road win at plus money.
Pick: Wild Moneyline | Play to +100
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