The Calgary Flames have retaken the division lead, and take some promising trends into an all-Western Canada matchup against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
The Flames are +110 road underdogs (bet $100 to win $110) on the NHL betting lines for Saturday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with the Winnipeg Jets coming back at -135 (bet $135 to win $100) and a 6.5-goal total. Calgary played Friday and it is 4-4 this season in the second leg of back-to-back games, but it has a 7-2 record in away games against Central Division teams this season.
On Friday, the Flames routed the New York Rangers 5-1 on home ice, with Matthew Tkachuk factoring into all the goals by scoring two and earning three assists. Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau and Garnet Hathaway also scored.
The Flames have won both meetings this year against the Jets, but both were prior to the NHL trade deadline. The last time that they met, on December 27, Gaudreau had a hat trick in the Flames’ 4-1 road win at the MTS Centre.
While Calgary is one of this season’s turnaround teams, it has been consistently delivering value as a slight road underdog, with a 9-3 record in its last 12 games on the road as an underdog of 100 to +120 on the moneyline, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, dating to January 2018. That win in their last visit to Winnipeg also fit into a trend where six of their last nine away games against Central teams have finished UNDER. As for the Jets, they are 5-4 this season as a home favorite of 100 to -140 on the moneyline.
Injuries-wise, Flames left wing James Neal (lower body) is out of the lineup. Winnipeg, 4-3 winners against the very strong Boston Bruins on Thursday, has been trying to cover for the absence of defensemen Dustin Byfuglien, Joe Morrow and Josh Morrissey.
The Flames are tied for second in the NHL with 3.6 goals per game, while the Jets are sixth with an average of 3.4.
Calgary has 95 points, one up on the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead. After this contest, the Flames have a two-day break before hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, followed by a visit from the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. The Jets, who hold a one-point lead over the Nashville Predators with two games in hand, are wrapping up a three-game homestand. They play three road games in four nights next week, visiting the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.