NHL Hockey Betting: Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Calgary Flames have been struggling so far this season and particularly on the road where they’re 3-7-0. Making matters worse, they’ve been downright horrible against the Ducks at the Honda Center. Calgary has lost 20 straight regular season games at the venue and 22 games overall. The last time the Flames won at the Honda Center was a 5-2 win on April 25, 2006 in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Their last regular season win was a 5-1 victory on January 19, 2004. They haven’t won a regular season game on the Ducks’ home ice in over a decade.

While the Flames have had their problems beating the Ducks in Orange County they are catching Anaheim at a perfect time. Anaheim has been struggling all season long and while they have improved from their 1-7-2 run to open the season they still have plenty of issues. For one thing, they can’t score goals and particularly at even strength. Anaheim is tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for dead last in goals per game at 1.76. The Flyers and Ducks are the only two teams in the league putting up less than two goals per game. They’re also #25 on the power play. Things are better on the defensive end where they’re #14 but that’s not good enough to compensate for their pitiful scoring average. There is one bright spot to build around–the Ducks have the best penalty kill in the NHL.

The Flames aren’t exactly setting the league on fire offensively either–they’re ranked #24 in the league in goals per game (2.38) but that’s not anywhere close to enough to negate the brutal Calgary defense and special teams play. The Flames are dead last in scoring defense allowing 3.52 goals per game. Unlike the Ducks and their penalty killing excellence they don’t have anything to be proud of on special teams. Calgary is #27 on the power play and #29 on the penalty kill.

That being said, we’ll back the Flames here for a couple of reasons. First, the Ducks have been horrific against their Pacific Division rivals this season (1-5) and more significantly there’s no reason to lay -150 with them. They may have a history of success but this game is close to a toss up and we’ll take the price.


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