by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Calgary Flames’ season might hang in the balance when they take on the visiting Montreal Canadiens this weekend starting on Friday night in a crucial clash pegged as a virtual pick’em on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Calgary lags eight points back of Montreal in the race for fourth place in the North Division standings ahead of this weekend’s three-game series, which begins with Friday night’s matchup at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Canadiens vs Flames | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Flames have managed to stay within striking distance of Montreal despite falling to defeat in each of their past two outings. Overall, Calgary has earned the win in just five of its past 16 games, but is hoping to once again benefit from a light schedule. The Flames embarked on a three-game win streak on the heels of a recent three-day layoff, and will be aiming to duplicate that effort after playing just one game over the past seven days.
Last week’s defeat marked Calgary’s first loss to the Canadiens in five meetings, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The Flames limited Montreal to just three total goals during their recent head-to-head win streak, and to just nine total goals in six overall meetings this season.
However, the club still has work to do to overcome their recent uneven track record against Montreal on home ice. Calgary has posted the win in just three of its last eight home clashes with the Canadiens. And while they have emerged victorious in each of their past two home matchups, they have failed to win three in a row against Montreal at the Saddledome since 2013.
Calgary has seen the offensive struggles that have plagued the club all season return during its current slide. The team has scored just three total goals while posting back-to-back losses, in Montreal last Friday, and at home to Ottawa this past Monday. And with spotty defense emerging as a real issue at times, the Flames have tallied just one victory in their past 12 outings when scoring three or fewer goals.
The Flames’ struggles at both ends of the ice are good news for the Canadiens as they arrive in Calgary sporting -110 odds at betting sites. Montreal opened its current five-game road trip by splitting a pair of meetings with the Edmonton Oilers, capped by Wednesday’s 4-3 victory. However, the road has been unkind to the Canadiens of late, with the club claiming victory in just four of its past 14 dates away from Bell Centre.
Montreal has shown signs of a turnaround while winning three of its past six away dates, but will have to make do without Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher, who both remain sidelined by injury.