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St. Louis Blues vs. Calgary Flames
NHL: Saturday, November 9, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Canada, 10:00 PM ET
The Western Conference clash from Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Saturday night will be a pure joy to watch, as two in-form teams will face off against each other. The St. Louis Blues have been terrific over the last few weeks, winning eight of their previous nine games overall. The reigning champs are riding a six-game winning streak following a 5-2 victory at the Edmonton Oilers. On the other side, the Calgary Flames are coming off a 5-2 victory to the New Jersey Devils, tallying their fourth win over the last five contests.
These two foes will meet for the first time this season. The Blues won two of three last season’s encounters including a 3-1 victory in a lone clash at Scotiabank Saddledome. Likewise, St. Louis won five of its previous eight visits to Calgary.
The Blues look unstoppableSt. Louis needed overtime in four of six games during their winning streak. However, it wasn’t a case with a 5-2 win at Edmonton this past Wednesday. The Blues netted five times on just 25 shots, but it was a tight clash until the ultimate minute of the 3rd period. Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev both scored on an empty net to clinch the Blues’ fourth straight victory away from home. Alex Pietrangelo had a big game, scoring a goal along with a couple of dishes, while Jake Allen posted 32 saves.
The Blues are 14th in the league in goals per game (3.18) and 11th in goals against (2.82). Their power-play percentage is 4th-best in the NHL (25.9%), while the Blues kill 80.8% of their opponents’ power-play opportunities (16th). Center Ryan O’Reilly leads the way for the Blues with 17 points (G4, A13). Winger David Perron is right behind with 16 points (G7, A9).
St. Louis’ goalies are 15th in the league in save percentage (.908). Jordan Binnington started 13 times between the pipes and has an 8-2-3 record with a 2.43 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Jake Allen has a 3-1-0 record with a 3.29 GAA and a .882 save percentage.
The Flames rally past New Jersey in a dominant fashionCalgary was down twice against the Devils this past Thursday, but the Flames find a way to come from behind and earn a well-deserved victory. They took 38 shots towards New Jersey’s goalie, allowing only 23 shots in a return. Five different guys netted for the Flames. Defenseman Noah Hanifin had two assists along with a goal, while Johnny Gaudreau found the net for the second outing in a row. David Rittich had a good day between the pipes with 21 stops.
The Flames are 18th in the league in goals per game (2.89) and 13th in goals against (2.89). They are converting 18.8% of their power-play opportunities (18th), while the Flames’ penalty-killing percentage is the 3rd-best in the league (88.4). Winger Matthew Tkachuk leads the way for Calgary with 19 points (G9, A9). Center Elias Lindholm (G10, A7) and winger Johnny Gaudreau (G5, A12) both added 17 points each.
David Rittich has started between the pipes in 15 games for the Flames this season. He has a 9-4-2 record with a 2.74 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Cam Talbot has a 1-3-0 record, tallying a 2.84 GAA and a .899 save percentage.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are: St. Louis:
- 2-6 in their last eight outings after scoring five goals or more in their previous game
- 4-12 in their last 16 Saturday games
- 5-1 in the last six games as a home favorite
- 10-4 in the last 14 outings after scoring five goals or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Flames are slowly building up their form, winning four of their last five games. They also showed character, coming from behind three times in that span. The Flames overcame a two-goal deficit against the Arizona Coyotes at home and a three-goal deficit at the Nashville Predators. The clash with the red-hot reigning champions will be a proper test for Calgary, and I think they have enough firepower to tally another win. Likewise, the hosts will be fired up to beat the best team in the NHL in the previous season. The Blues were pretty lucky on a few occasions during their winning streak, so give me the Flames at the money line odds.
Prediction: Calgary Flames (-130)
Full-Game Total Pick
This will be the battle between two well-balanced teams. Both St. Louis and Calgary play solid defense. Jordan Binnington and David Rittich will probably take the ice, so I don’t expect to see a bunch of goals. Furthermore, the Blues take only 28.4 shots per contest which are the 2nd-fewest in the league. The under has hit in six of the Blues’ previous eight outings on the road as underdogs, while the under is 4-0 in the Flames’ last four games after scoring five or more goals in their previous contest. The line is a tricky one at 6.0 goals, but I have to go with the under.
Prediction: Under 6.0 goals (-115)