Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Steelers will face each other in one of the most interesting matches in Monday’s action in the NHL 2021-22. Both sides ended their winning runs last time and want to bounce back with a win to enter the new streak.
Calgary’s run of home games continues, and it will be their third straight game on the home ice. They lost in their latest match and look forward to getting back on the winning track. Pittsburgh also suffered a defeat last time they played, and they want to bounce back. However, the away side hopes to continue an excellent run on the road, where they celebrated four times in a row.
Calgary Flames – Can they keep their defense tight?
The Flames finally completed their tour of seven matches away from home. They started well in front of the home crowd by beating the Blackhawks, but they lost to the Jets in their latest game. Nevertheless, the Flames are 2nd in the Pacific Division with a 12-4-5 record and are on a good track to securing a playoffs spot. However, the Jets beat them 4-2, mostly since Jacob Markstrom had a poor evening between the pipes with a .889 save percentage.
Calgary has been pretty productive in the final third, scoring 3.33 goals per game on average. Johnny Gaudreau has been the most efficient player with 25 points, including a team-high 16 assists. Andrew Mangiapane tops the list of the team’s top scorers with 15 goals, while he also logged a pair of assists. Elias Lindholm has contributed with 23 points, while Matthew Tkachuk is an assist away from a double-double record. On the other hand, the flames allow only two goals per contest, with Jacob Markstrom having an excellent .937 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Jacob Markstrom, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau
with best odds
Pittsburgh Penguins – Can they book another win on the road?
The Penguins were on a hot run, but a defeat against the Canadiens ended their six-game winning streak. Nevertheless, they are still in the playoffs zone, being 4th in the Metropolitan Division with a 10-7-4 record. Pittsburgh has been doing well in the final third lately, but they still need to tighten their defense. They conceded six times against the Canadiens, despite the opponents having only 33 shots.
Jake Guentzel has contributed the most in the Penguins’ offense with 18 points, and at the same time, he has been the top scorer and the best assistant. Evan Rodrigues has produced 15 points, while Kasperi Kapanen, Jeff Carter, and Kris Letang all logged 10+ points each. On the other hand, Tristan Jarry has been Pittsburgh’s starting goalie, allowing only 1.91 goals per match and having a .936 save percentage. However, Casey DeSmith hasn’t been a decent alternative, as he conceded 4.32 goals per contest on four appearances.
Expected Line-Up: Tristan Jarry, Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Evan Rodrigues
Expert Pick #1 – Under 5.5 @-110
It’s going to be a clash of the two solid defenses, especially if Tristan Jarry takes place between the pipes. The Flames rank 1st in defensive columns in the NHL, while their last three head-to-head clashes stayed under the margin. I’ll take the Under as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Penguins to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @+125
Calgary hasn’t been that convincing on the home ice, while Pittsburgh booked four straight victories on the road. The plus money odds on the visitors bring a very good value, and I’m going to back them as my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Flames Under 3 @-110
Since I anticipate a tight contest, we might see Calgary scoring no more than three goals. Tristan Jerry is projected to start for the Penguins, especially after DeSmith’s poor performance against the Canadiens. I’m taking this one as my third pick.