NHL Hockey Betting: Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Western Conference action at the United Center on Tuesday night as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Calgary Flames. The Blackhawks are right in the thick of things in the Central Division with a 5-3-1 record good for 11 points. That puts them in third place one point back of St. Louis and two back of first place Minnesota. Calgary has been decidedly mediocre so far this season but in a tightly packed Pacific Division aren’t far off the pace. They’re 4-5-1 on the year and coming off a 3-1 loss to Washington on Saturday. The Blackhawks have won two straight and looked very good beating Los Angeles at home 3-0 in their last action.

Corey Crawford has been confirmed as Chicago’s goaltender here while Brian Elliott has been ‘penciled in’ for Calgary. Elliott has struggled somewhat since joining the Flames though he definitely had a better team in front of him in St. Louis. Backup Chad Johnson has started three games but with the Flames not having played since Saturday logic suggests that Elliott will go. Both teams are fairly healthy–Chicago is without defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk and Andrew Desjardins who are expected to be out a least a month but have no other significant injury issues.

This series has been significantly more competitive in recent years than you might think. The teams have split their last four games head to head with each winning once on the road. The Flames won the only meeting so far this year taking a 3-2 verdict at the United Center on 10/24/16. Calgary and Chicago have split the last four games on the Blackhawks’ home ice and in the last three season Chicago holds a narrow 4-3-0 advantage in head to head play. The Flames did play Chicago early in the season last year before their injury woes. Goaltender Elliott is certainly familiar with the Blackhawks from his time in St. Louis and was effective enough to eliminate them from the playoffs last year.

Calgary looks a bit undervalued here. They were very competitive against Washington in their last start. They gave up two early goals but got one back and then held Washington scoreless for 2 1/2 periods until Marcus Johansson scored an empty net goal to make the final score look more convincing than the actual game. We’ll take the price on the Flames.


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