New York Islanders vs. Calgary Flames
NHL: Thursday, March 12, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, 9:00 PM ET
The New York Islanders head to Calgary on Thursday night to take on the Flames for the first time this season. The Flames swept the Islanders last season, beating them 4-2 as -150 home favorites and 3-1 as slight -105 road underdogs.
The Islanders are in serious crisis, riding a seven-game losing streak. They are winless in seven straight outings on the road, too. On the other side, the Flames have won three of their previous four games overall including two of their previous three home contes
The Islanders’ agony continued with a shootout defeat in VancouverThe New York Islanders are coming off a 5-4 shootout loss at the Vancouver Canucks as +105 road dogs this past Tuesday. They broke the deadlock after just 1:36 of play in the first period, but the Canucks needed only two minutes to overcome the deficit. Jordan Eberle scored his 16th goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 late in the first period, while Brock Nelson netted his 26th goal of the season to make it 4-4 early in the third. However, the Islanders couldn’t find the net in a shootout, and Semyon Varlamov allowed J.T. Miller to score the game-winner.
The Islanders have dropped 11 of their last 13 games overall, so their playoff appearance is in jeopardy. New York sits at the sixth spot of the Metropolitan Division standings, six points behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins. Also, the Islanders are one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets who hold wild cards in the East. At least, they’ve played two games fewer than the Jackets.
The Islanders are 22nd in the league in goals scored per game (2.78) and ninth in goals against (2.79). Semyon Varlamov has guarded the cage in four of New York’s last seven games, and he’s 19-14-6 on the season with a 2.62 GAA and a .914 save percentage. Thomas Greiss is 16-9-4 and has a 2.74 GAA and a .913 save percentage. It’s still unknown who will patrol the crease Thursday against the Flames.
The Flames put an end to a three-game win streak with a tough home loss to VegasCalgary is coming off a 5-3 defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights at even odds this past Sunday. The Flames were down 3-0 after 3:39 of play in the second period but found their way back into the game. Matthew Tkachuk scored his 23rd goal of the season with three minutes left on the clock in the third period to tie the clash at 3-3, but the Flames couldn’t force overtime after surrendering two more goals in the final three minutes.
The Flames still hold the third spot in the Pacific Division, but they are only a point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks. Also, they’ve earned just one point more than the Winnipeg Jets who are just outside of the playoff picture, as the Canucks hold the bottom wild card in the West. Calgary is 20th in the league in goals scored per game (2.91) and 16th in goals against (3.06).
David Rittich has guarded the cage against the Golden Knights, surrendering four goals on 31 shots to record his third straight defeat. He’s 24-17-6 on the season with a 2.97 GAA and a .907 save percentage. Cam Talbot has won three straight contests and is 12-10-1 on the season with a 2.63 GAA and a .919 save percentage, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he gets the starting call Thursday night.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are: NY Islanders:
- 2-11 in the last 13 games overall
- 0-7 in the last seven games on the road
- 4-1 in the last five games against the Islanders
- 4-1 in the last five games against the Eastern Conference