The Calgary Flames will be resting a good half-dozen regulars as they try to finish their final road trip before the playoffs on a good note by winning as a road favourite.
The Flames are the -170 away favourite (bet $170 to win $100) on the NHL betting lines for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, while the Anaheim Ducks are a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150), with a 5.5-goal total. Now that first place in the Pacific Division is wrapped up, Calgary can be reasonably expected to rest several regulars. But they are 15-8 as a favourite on the road this season, while the Ducks are 9-11 as a home underdog.
This will be the teams’ second meeting in six days. Calgary won handily, 6-1, at home last Friday, breaking out of a team-wide scoring funk. Sean Monahan had two goals and two assists while Mark Giordano, Garnet Hathaway, Derek Ryan and James Neal also scored.
On Monday, the Flames rested Giordano, fellow defensemen T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic and Noah Hanifin and forwards Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, but still managed to beat the Los Angeles Kings 7-2. Ryan scored twice, Mark Jankowski had three points and goals also came through Neal, Sam Bennett, Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane. Bennett left the game after a hard collision but is expected to play.
The Flames are just 5-8 in away games against their division this season, but that could be a wash as far as trends are concerned since the Ducks have gone 5-7 at home against the same set of Pacific Division teams. Seven of Anaheim’s last nine games have gone OVER, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, suggesting there will be plenty of open ice for the Flames depth players and call-ups who are eager to show coach Bill Peters they could step into the lineup if needed in the playoffs.
David Rittich did the honours in goal against the Kings and has allowed only seven goals over his last four starts. Mike Smith is also on a solid streak, having allowed only 13 goals in his last six starts, with two or fewer goals allowed in five of those outings.
The Flames are second in the NHL in goal scoring, averaging 3.6 goals per game, while the Ducks are 31st and last, averaging 2.4. Calgary has the NHL’s 15th-ranked power play (19.9 percent) and 20th-ranked penalty kill (79.8). Anaheim has the 21st-ranked power play (17.2 percent) and 24th-ranked penalty kill (78.9).
The Flames, who have 107 points, complete the regular season at home against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Calgary will face the Western Conference’s second wild-card team in the first round of the playoffs, which begin next week. The Ducks, who are in 14th place in the conference, finish their season at home against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.