On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-7-4) look to rebound after an ugly home loss when they hit the road to take on the talented Calgary Flames (12-4-5), at ScotiaBank Saddledome. It’s the second and final meeting between the teams this season. Calgary blanked Pittsburgh 4-0 on Oct. 28.
Let’s get into our Penguins vs. Flames betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this November 29, 2021 matchup.
Well, the Penguins can’t win every game. We know that. Their winning streak couldn’t last forever. But, to have it end at home against a sadsack Montreal team and give up six goals in the process? That’s befuddling.
And the Penguins are an enigma. They seem to play great against good teams and play terrible against bad teams. While their record doesn’t agree with that completely, the fact that they are 6-4-3 against teams that are .500 or better and are 4-3-1 against sub-.500 teams should give you an idea that maybe the Penguins play to the level of their opponent.
Or maybe it’s just that they can’t rely on Casey DeSmith as a backup goalie any longer. DeSmith got the start against Montreal and came up small again. He’s 0-3-1 with a 4.32 GAA and an .867 save percentage.
It’ll be Tristan Jarry in net for the Penguins against Calgary, and he’s been the polar opposite of DeSmith. Jarry is 10-4-3 with a 1.91 goals against average and a .936 save percentage and was a huge part of the Penguins five-game winning streak.
The Penguins were winning with defense and goaltending. Their best scorer over the last five games has been Jake Guentzel, who in that span leads the team in goals with two, assists with three, and points with five.
Pittsburgh would do well to try and find other offense to get back on the winning track, but that might be hard to do against a Calgary team that is so good defensively that no matter the opponent, they struggle to find the net against the Flames.
Calgary allows just 2.00 goals per game, the best in the NHL. Jakob Markstrom has done most of the work in net, but his backup, Dan Vladar, has been superb as well. The two have combined for seven shutouts this season, most in the NHL.
Calgary puts the puck in the net too. They average 3.33 goals per game, seventh-best in the league.
The big three for Calgary continue to be Andrew Mangiapane, who has 15 goals already this season, including five in his last five games, Elias Lindholm, who has 23 points in 21 games, and Johnny Gaudreau, who has 25 points in 21 games. Both rank in the top 10 in the NHL in individual scoring.
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Penguins vs. Flames Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Flames at FanDuel Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (+1.5 -215), Flames (-1.5 +172)
Moneyline: Penguins (+125), Flames (-150)
Over/Under: Over 5.5 (-105), Under 5.5 (-115)
Bets We Like with a Penguins Win
Sidney Crosby to score at least one goal (+210, BetMGM)
Both teams boast an elite penalty kill. The Penguins are best in the NHL and the Flames are second-best. As such, we expect this game to be decided at 5-on-5. The Flames are perfectly happy with that considering how stingy they are defensively. That means if the Penguins are going to break through against them enough to win a game outright, not only are they going to need another strong performance from Jarry, but they’re going to need an elite-level player to make it happen.
Enter Crosby, who only has two goals in nine games played, with both coming against Montreal, who is hardly a defensive-minded squad. Crosby is looking to breakthrough against a better team, and if he does against the Flames, it’ll go a long way to securing a tough road win.
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Bets We Like with a Flames Win
Jakob Markstrom OVER 27.5 saves (-110, FanDuel Sportsbook)
In the nine games the Penguins have been held to two goals or fewer, they’ve exceeded 28 shots on goal in eight of them. The one thing about the Penguins is that when they are struggling to score they keep on firing the puck on net. So, this one seems like a no-brainer. This will be a low-scoring game, and te Penguins will keep on firing. Take this one to the bank.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Flames -0.5 in the first period (+165, DraftKings Sportsbook)
These are great odds. Take advantage of them. The Flames have won the first period in seven straight games. It’s their M.O. They come out fast and hard and get an early lead and then smother you from there on in. Combine that with the fact that the Penguins have only won the first period in two of their last 11 games and that they haven’t even scored a first period goal in the last four contests, and this too seems like easy money.
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Penguins vs. Flames Prediction
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict this will be a low-scoring affair. Two read-hot goalies. Two teams that pride themselves on defense. If you want a bonus play, we’d recommend UNDER 5.5 goals. But, the Flames are the better squad. We’ll ride them right now.
Prediction: Flames 3, Penguins 1
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