It’s time to take the Calgary Flames seriously as Stanley Cup candidates as they continue to lead the Pacific Division and battle for the most points in the West. The high-scoring Flames make their only visit of the season to Boston on Thursday with the B’s as the NHL betting favorites at Mybookie Sportsbook.
Flames at Bruins NHL Spread & Pick for Thursday Night
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
- Where: TD Garden, Boston
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- Radio: TuneIn
- NHL Spread: Boston Bruins -135 / Calgary Flames +125 (Total 6)
- All: Flames 25-12-4 / Bruins 22-14-4
- Home: Flames 12-4-4 / Bruins 13-5
- Away: Flames 13-8 / Bruins 9-9-4
- ATS: Flames 24-17 / Bruins 19-21
- Over/Under: Flames 20-20-1 / Bruins 15-23-2
The last meeting as Calgary beat the visiting Bruins 5-2 on Oct. 17. Michael Frolik had two goals, Johnny Gaudreau collected his 100th NHL goal and rookie defenseman Juusu Valimaki scored his first for the Flames. Matthew Tkachuk added an empty-net goal. Mikael Backlund and Michael Stone each had two assists. Goaltender Mike Smith stopped 24 of 26 shots. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist for the Bruins. Brad Marchand also scored. Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask turned away 24 shots in the loss.
Why Bet on Calgary?
It’s the second of a back-to-back for Calgary, which started a four-game road trip in Detroit on Wednesday. Mike Smith was to play that game, meaning it likely will David Rittich on Thursday. Coach Bill Peters said “there’s a chance” Rittich will play in that contest after missing Wednesday’s match because of a lower-body injury. “We’ll see how he responds to treatment here,” Peters added. “If everything goes well, then he’s an option for tomorrow.” Rittich owns a 13-4-3 record with a 2.39 GAA and a .920 save percentage. Jon Gillies backed up Smith on Wednesday.
Calgary is one of the top offensive teams in the league and showed that on New Year’s Eve with an 8-5 drubbing of the Pacific Division rival San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome. The Flames’ top line of Johnny Gaudreau (2+2), Sean Monahan (5 assists), and Elias Lindholm (1+2) combined for 12 points in the victory. Lindholm set a new career high with his 18th marker of the campaign.
Gaudreau is on pace to score 43 goals and 112 points; Monahan on pace to score 43 goals and 98 points; Matthew Tkachuk on pace to score 36 goals and 94 points, and Lindholm on pace to score 36 goals and 90 points. Gaudreau was named the NHL’s third star for December. Gaudreau was second across the NHL with 11 goals and 26 points in 14 outings as the Flames.
The Flames are tied for third in the NHL (with the Maple Leafs) with a 52.2 faceoff winning percentage. Calgary also has a +29 goal differential this season, tops in the Western Conference and third overall behind the Lightning (+51) and the Maple Leafs (+35).
The last time Calgary played in the second of a back-to-back was Dec. 16 in St. Louis and the Flames rolled to a 7-2 victory.
Why Bet on Boston?
The Bruins won their second in a row Tuesday, 4-2 over Chicago at Notre Dame Stadium in the Winter Classic. Sean Kuraly tallied the game-winning goal. Kuraly broke a 2-2 tie with 9:40 remaining in the third period. He has four goals this season and has picked up the game winner in each of Boston’s last two games.
David Pastrnak produced one goal and one assist. Pastrnak tied the game at 1-1 with his 24th goal of the season during the first period and he picked up a helper on Patrice Bergeron’s game-tying tally before the end of the second stanza.
Pastrnak registered both points on Boston power plays. The 22-year-old winger also reached an impressive milestone. He has tallied 50 points in 40 games, and no B’s player has hit that mark faster since Marc Savard more than a decade ago. Pastrnak leads the Bruins in goals (24) and scoring (50 points), and he also ranks tied for fourth place in goals scored in the NHL overall. Bergeron had a pair of power-play points. He is up to 13 goals and 33 points in 24 contests this campaign.
Tuukka Rask stopped 36 shots. Rask was at his best in the second period when he stopped 15 shots. His biggest stop was at the end of the first period in a tied hockey game. In the closing seconds of the period, Patrick Kane broke free on the outdoor ice for a breakaway chance with Rask as the last line of defense. Rask has been victorious in four of his last six outings and is 10-8-2 with a 2.63 GAA and .914 SV. It seems like he’s on the upswing with his play after a brutal final start prior to the Christmas break.
Defenseman Charlie McAvoy (lower body) didn’t play on Tuesday against Chicago. McAvoy was ruled out after he missed Monday’s practice. Coach Bruce Cassidy hopes that the defenseman will be ready to play on Thursday.
Flames at Bruins NHL Betting Trends
- Flames are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Boston
- Bruins are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference
- Calgary is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Calgary’s last 18 games on the road
- Boston is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Boston’s last 7 games at home
Expert NHL Betting Prediction for Flames at Bruins
With Flames tired, B’s grab a 4-2 victory.