NHL Game Previews
The Avalanche are favored in this game, but their defense has struggled in the past few games and they are facing a Flames’ squad that has won two in a row over teams that each have at least 100 points.
Calgary Flames (39-29-9 87 pts) at Colorado Avalanche (41-28-7 89 pts)
Bovada has a moneyline for this game with Colorado as the favorite posted at -135 with Calgary at +115 with a total of 5 goals.
The Colorado Avalanche host the Calgary Flames tonight in a very important Western Conference match up. Colorado is in the eighth and last playoff spot in the West, but they only lead Calgary by two points. If Calgary wins tonight’s game in regulation they will pull even with Colorado.
Colorado has lost three in a row and is 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and Calgary has won two straight and is 5-5-0 in their last 10 games.
This season Colorado is 23-12-2 at home and Calgary is 19-13-6 on the road.
Both teams played on Wednesday night in their last games but with different results, as the Avalanche lost to the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 and the Flames beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1.
The Avalanche have really had problems on defense in their three-game losing streak, as they have given up 15 goals in that span.
Overall, Colorado does not have a great defense giving up 2.72 goals per game. Starting goalie Craig Anderson (36 wins 2.63 GAA save percentage 91.7%) is only 1-5-1 with a GAA of 4.25 in his last 7 starts. Luckily for the Avalanche the Flames only rank 28th in the league in scoring.
Colorado has to key on Calgary’s Jarome Iginla, who leads team in goals (32), assists (37), and points (69).
The Flames won their last game against the Avalanche, which snapped their six-game losing streak against Colorado.
The Avalanche offense is solid ranking sixth in the league in scoring (2.91 goals per game), but they have only scored seven goals in the last three games. They will be facing Flames’ G Miikka Kiprusoff (34 wins 2.26 GAA save percentage 92.1%).
It is interesting that the last five games between these two teams have all had a score of 3-2.
Calgary is 4-0 in their last four games against teams with a winning record and Colorado is 1-6 in their last seven games against teams with a winning record.
Saturday Big Games
Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens
Montreal really needs to finish the season strong to make the post season, as they are, as of Friday, tied with Philadelphia for the sixth spot in the East. They only lead eighth place Boston by two points. Buffalo is 7-3 in their last 10 games and is now all alone in second place in the Eastern Conference.
Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston has the last playoff spot in the East and only lead ninth place Atlanta by two points. The Bruins are a solid road team and they will be facing a Maple Leafs’ squad that has the fewest points in the East this season.
Sunday NHL Odds
Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks
The Fames need to start winning to make the playoffs. As of Friday they are two points behind the Colorado Avalanche, who they play Friday night, for the last playoffs spot in the Western Conference. Chicago is three points behind San Jose for the top-spot in the West.
San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche
On Friday the Avalanche face the Calgary Flames and if they lose they will be tied with the Flames for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. San Jose is in first place in the West three points ahead of Chicago, but the Sharks are only 4-6 in their last 10 games.