If the Colorado Avalanche have any shot of upsetting the Western Conference top-seeded Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs, the Avs obviously must win at least one game in Calgary. They try again on Saturday as large NHL Betting underdogs.
Avalanche vs Flames 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Lines & Game 2 Pick
- When: Saturday, 10:30 PM ET
- Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Lines: Calgary Flames -200 / Colorado Avalanche +190 (Total 5.5)
Why Bet on Colorado?The Avs couldn’t get one past Mike Smith in Game 1, falling 1-0. A key sequence came early in the second period when the Avalanche went to the power play for the third consecutive time. With all the momentum with Colorado, the 37-year-old Smith made two glove stops 30 seconds apart to keep the game scoreless.
Philipp Grubauer did his part for Colorado with 28 saves. Grubauer is now 1-2 all-time in the playoffs, with a 3.95 GAA and a .854 save percentage. The Avalanche surrendered two power-play goals in a playoff game for the first time since April 22, 2010, at San Jose.
Grubauer backstopped the Avalanche into the playoffs by going 7-0-2 in his final nine starts with a 1.63 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. His .953 Sv% during that stretch led all NHL goaltenders while his seven wins tied Jordan Binnington for the highest total since March 17. Grubauer was 9-2-2 in his final 14 appearances (13 starts) with three shutouts, a 1.44 GAA and .956 Sv%.
Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog led Colorado with 25:04 of ice time, the second-most time on ice for each in their postseason careers (MacKinnon, 25:18, April 18, 2018, vs. Nashville; Landeskog, 25:56, April 17, 2014, vs. Minnesota).
“I mean, seven-game series,” Avs defenseman Erik Johnson said after. “You know that you can’t hang on to games, win or lose. We probably deserved a better fate, Smith was really, really good. Second period maybe it could have been 2-0 us but he made some really big saves for them, he’s definitely the difference. So we’re going to have to look at that and find a way to score some goals on him too.”
- Goals: 3.13
- Shots: 32.54
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.72
- Goals: 3.01
- Shots: 31.92
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.58
Why Bet on Calgary?The Flames were one of the top home teams in the entire NHL this season as they finished atop the NHL in goals-for at home with 166. Their 26 home wins were the most in the Western Conference and the third most in the NHL (trailing Boston and Tampa Bay). The Flames ten home losses were the least in the Western Conference and third least in the NHL (trailing Tampa Bay and Boston).
The clear top star for Game 1 was Mike Smith as he stopped all 26 shots he faced, including in the third period following a crucial glove save on 99-point star Nathan MacKinnon. Playing his first postseason contest since leading the Coyotes’ first-ever run to the Conference Finals in 2012 – more than 2,500 days ago – Smith became the first goaltender in Flames franchise history to record a shutout in a series-opening game.
Smith’s all-time playoff record is now 11-8-0 with a 1.79 GAA and a .947 save percentage. His .947 save percentage through 20 playoff gamespaces all netminders since 1955-56 (min. 15 GP).
Among goaltenders to play entirely in the expansion era, only two others went as long between playoff wins: Brian Boucher (3,616 days) and Sean Burke (3,634 days). Boucher and Burke are two of three goaltenders to go 10 or more years between playoff wins (also Jim Henry: 3,654 days).
Smith, 37, became the fourth goaltender to record a series-opening shutout at age 37 or older. The others: Gump Worsley (42 years, 327 days on Game 1 of 1972 QF), Tim Thomas (37 years, 363 days on Game 1 of 2012 CQF) and Georges Vezina (37 years, 47 days on Game 1 of 1924 NHLF).
Matthew Tkachuk scored the first two playoff goals in his young career in the win. Tkachuk scored a power-play goal in the second period before putting the game out of reach late in the third. The forward played four playoff games during his rookie season in 2016-17 but failed to pick up a point in any of those contests.
It was the first playoff win for the Flames since a 4-3 overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round on May 5, 2015.
- Goals: 3.53
- Shots: 32.37
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.64
- Goals: 2.73
- Shots: 28.04
- PP/PK Percentage: 20.16
Avalanche vs Flames 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Trends
- Avalanche are 0-6 in the last 6 meetings in Calgary
- Avalanche are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings
- Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings
- Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings in Calgary
- Favorite is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings
- Home team is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings