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Flames Look to Even Series With Avalanche At 2-2

The top seed in the East, the Tampa Bay Lightning, was eliminated in four games and the top seed in the West, the Calgary Flames, is facing a 2-1 deficit in its opening-round series with the Colorado Avalanche, with Game 4 going tonight from the Pepsi Center. Colorado dropped the series opener but has picked up back-to-back wins and is eyeing a stranglehold heading back to the Scotiabank Saddledome for Game 5. Oddsmakers have this game as a -110 pick’em with the total opening at 6 goals.

Flames vs Avalanche Game Center

Standout Stats

  • This series has been very interesting as you can almost see Colorado gaining confidence with each game. Calgary came out in Game 1 at home with an impressive 4-0 victory, outshooting Colorado 32-26. However, things shifted slightly in the second game as the Avs outshot the Flames 39-37 and earned a 3-2 overtime triumph. In Game 3, on home ice, Colorado ran over Calgary 6-2, outshooting the Flames 56-39. Calgary also had 50 penalty minutes in the game.
  • The total has been set at 6 for each of the games in this series, with the first two contests going UNDER and the most recent going OVER.
  • The Flames are having some difficulties with the speed of the Avalanche, specifically Nathan MacKinnon, who has three goals – including the Game 2 overtime winner – and an assist over the last two contests. Due to this speed and pressure from Colorado, Calgary is constantly playing on its heels and has become very undisciplined while surrendering far too many shots.
  • If Mike Smith wasn’t playing as well as he has been, the scores could be really lopsided as he sports a .926 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average. Meanwhile, Philipp Grubauer has been very strong for the Avs, holding a .928 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA.
  • The one advantage the Flames has had in this series has been on the faceoff dot as they have won 63.5 percent of the faceoffs. Meanwhile, Calgary’s power play is clicking at 25 percent and Colorado is hitting at just 12.5 percent.

My Best Bet for Calgary vs Colorado Game 4

Colorado Moneyline

Unless the Flames have figured out a way to slow down Colorado in the last couple of days, I don’t know if they hang for the full three periods. Additionally, Nathan MacKinnon is mixing his speed with his strength and is a real handful for Calgary. I expect the Flames to try to set the tone physically early and often, which could put them out of position and leave them vulnerable to odd-man rushes.