Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames will close Saturday’s action in the NHL 2021-22 playoffs. The home side has an away victory in its pockets and will look forward to capitalizing on the next two games on the home ice. The visitors were not good enough in their previous match and will try to bounce back on Saturday evening.
Dallas picked up a win in their latest match, and they hope to continue with the same in front of their fans. The hosts should keep holding their defense tight to increase their chances of success. On the other hand, Calgary will search for a break right after losing on the home ice. However, they need to be more clinical in front of the opposition’s net.
Dallas Stars – Can they keep discipline in defense?
Dallas went to Calgary mostly focusing on defending their own net, and that approach paid off. Although they conceded just once in the series opener, that game didn’t bring them a positive result. Nevertheless, the Stars were persistent with their playing style, and as a reward, they booked a valuable 2-0 win on the road on Thursday evening. They had fewer shots than their rivals again, but unlike in Game 1, Dallas snatched their chances and converted them into victory. They won nine more faceoffs compared to the Flames, also having two penalty minutes more in the game.
Joe Pavelski and Michael Raffl are currently the only two skaters that managed to find the back of the opponent’s net. Jason Robertson, Tyler Seguin, and Jani Hakanpaa logged one assist each, while the other Dallas players failed to enter the offensive charts in the post-season. John Klingberg spent most of the time off the ice with 19 penalty minutes, while Michael Raffl had 11. Regarding the goaltending, Jake Oettinger keeps the defense tight by conceding 0.50 goals per contest in the playoffs. He has a total of 54 saves for an amazing .982 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Jake Oettinger, Ryan Suter, Esa Lindell, Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin
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Calgary Flames – Are they capable of bouncing back?
The Flames managed to break the Stars’ offense once in Game 1, and that goal brought them a victory. However, the opponents neutralized their offense in the next match, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat. Twenty-nine shots on the rival’s goal didn’t help them to secure a 2-0 lead in this series before moving to Dallas. On the other hand, Calgary won nine faceoffs less than their rivals, and they were not good enough in the final third against a rock-solid Stars’ defense.
Calgary’s offensive charts are pretty empty after the first two games. Elias Lindholm is the only player that managed to get his name displayed on the scoresheet in the playoffs. Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau logged one assist each, while other players haven’t managed to enter the offensive stats so far. On defense, Rasmus Andersson has 15 penalty minutes from the Flames’ 42 in total. Jacob Markstrom concedes once per match on average, while his save percentage is pretty high and currently at .974.
Expected Line-Up: Jacob Markstrom, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau
Expert Pick #1 – Under 5.5 @-140
I won’t give up on the Under as far as it works in this series, as the first two games confirmed my prediction that Dallas would go with a defensive style. We have seen only three goals in total after the first two matches, and I don’t expect more than five in this one. Give me the Under as the first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Dallas Under 2.5 @-140
Consequently, Dallas should be inferior in the offense once again, and I don’t see them scoring more than twice. They had a low number of shots in both matches in Calgary, and it shouldn’t be much different here. I’ll go with this bet as my first alternative.
Expert Pick #3 – Calgary Flames to win @-170
Calgary still hasn’t shown its offensive potential in this series, but I believe they can pull off a win in Game 3. They have been dominant in both matches so far but couldn’t convert their chances into goals in the previous one. The Flames should improve their finishing to clinch a win, and that’s going to be my third pick, although the odds are low.