The Calgary Flames will try to break their scoring funk against an Anaheim Ducks team that is in its first game since being eliminated from playoff contention.
The Flames are the -260 home favourite (bet $260 to win $100) on the NHL betting lines for Friday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, while the Ducks are a +220 underdog (bet $100 to win $220), with a 6.0-goal total.
The Flames are 9-3 at home this season against fellow Pacific Division teams and 10-4 at home as a moneyline favourite of -200 or farther into minus money, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. These teams’ last seven matchups have gone UNDER, but they have been polar opposites for totals bettors of late. Six of Anaheim’s last 10 games have gone OVER, with an average total of 6.6 goals. Conversely, the UNDER has prevailed in seven of Calgary’s last 10 games, with an average total of 5.5.
The teams have split a pair of one-goal decisions this season with the home team winning each time, but both came before Anaheim general manager Bob Murray fired coach Randy Carlyle and took over behind the bench. The Flames won 2-1 at home in the last meeting on February 22, with T.J. Brodie and Andrew Mangiapane scoring the goals.
Calgary has lost both of its games this week, including a 2-1 loss against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. Brodie scored the only goal as the Flames had a 36-23 shots on goal advantage but lost on the margin of two Stars power-play goals.
The Flames might well end up enjoying the territorial edge again – after all they are fourth in the NHL in shot differential while the Ducks are next to last in the category, in 30th place. Whether that can translate into a deluge of goals is debatable, especially with the Calgary power play in an 0-for-20 slump. Ultimately, two more points in the standings is paramount for the Flames as they push to wrap up the Pacific Division title, so a low-scoring win might seem like the most predictable scenario.
David Rittich started the Dallas game, which means Mike Smith could be in net for the Flames. The 37-year-old goalie is 2-4-0 with a 2.05 goals-against average and .912 save percentage so far in March, and his last nine starts have all finished with six or fewer goals.
The Flames are third in the NHL in goal scoring, averaging 3.6 goals per game, while the Ducks are 31st and last, averaging 2.3. Calgary has the NHL’s 15th-ranked power play (20.2 percent) and 21st-ranked penalty kill (79.3). Anaheim has the 21st-ranked power play (17.4 percent) and 25th-ranked penalty kill (79.0).
The Flames come into Friday with a six-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division title and top overall playoff seed in the Western Conference. Speaking of the Sharks, Calgary makes their final regular-season road trip after this game, starting with a potential second-round playoff preview against San Jose on Sunday night. The Ducks visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.