by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Calgary Flames can pull to within two points of Montreal in the North Division standings with a win on Friday when they close out a two-game series with the slumping Canadiens as +115 road underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Calgary tallied a decisive 4-1 victory in Wednesday’s series opener, and now rides a three-game win streak into Friday night’s matchup at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Flames vs Canadiens | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Flames appeared to be destined to finish outside the playoff picture during a recent dismal stretch in which they lost eight of nine contests. However, the team has shown new life since enjoying an unscheduled four-day layoff earlier this month. The Flames look to have used that break wisely, and have adapted well to new head coach Darryl Sutter’s style of play, which has placed an emphasis on steady defensive play.
Bolstered by Jacob Markstrom’s solid performance, Calgary has surrendered just three total goals during the team’s current 3-0-0 run. That marks a major turnaround after the club surrendered an average of 4.25 goals per game during its preceding four-game losing streak.
The team’s recent stingy play has extended a consistent run for the UNDER at online betting sites, which has paid out in each of its past three outings and gone 8-2-2 over its past 12. However, Calgary has also been rewarded offensively. One of the lowest scoring teams on the road this season, the Flames attack has produced results during their current surge, averaging four goals per game.
The Flames’ current tear leaves them poised to win four games in a row for the first time since January 2020, but they continue to be in must-win mode heading into the weekend. Calgary has dominated the Canadiens while tallying four straight wins this season, and has limited Montreal to just three total goals over that stretch. But with Montreal holding three games in hand on them, the Flames face a big challenge to close the four-point gap in the race for fourth place in the North Division standings.
While the Flames gear up for a late run at a playoff spot, the Canadiens search for answers as they prepare for Friday’s contest as -135 home favorites. With Wednesday’s defeat, Montreal has now lost five of seven contests, with four of those losses coming on home ice.
The Canadiens offense has fallen flat during their current slump, tallying just 1.80 goals per game over their past five outings. Those woes also extend to the Montreal defense, with the Canadiens allowing just under four goals per game over their past six home contests.