On Tuesday night the Capitals travel to Calgary and play the Flames. The Flames are 13 and two in their last 15 games and have been helped by great goaltending and defense.
Washington comes into this game having won two straight and looking to add to that streak.
Flaming hot in Calgary
As I said before, the Flames are on fire in the past month. They’ve won 13 of 15 and have scored four or more goals in four straight games. They’ve been getting lots of scoring out of Johnny Gaudreau, who has six points in his last three games.
Gaudreau has 71 points in 54 games and is in the running for the Selke Trophy for the league’s best all-around forward. Calgary has been only getting better the past few years and now they’re charging into the playoffs, four points ahead of anyone else in the Pacific division.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has been very solid in net posting a .925 save percentage across 43 games so far this year which is fifth best in the league. He also has 25 wins and a GAA of 2.17 which is tied for fourth in the league.
Basically, Calgary is a very good hockey team. They have no issue scoring and are very solid defensively. They’re held down by a good, consistent goalkeeper that is arguably top five in the league. They’ve got a real chance to make a run this year.
On the Rebound
The Capitals have been having a tough time in 2022, but have started March in impressive fashion. Washington downed the Metropolitan leading Carolina Hurricanes four to zero on Thursday before beating the Kraken five to two on Saturday.
Goaltender Vitek Vanecek has allowed two goals on his last 65 shots, which is a save percentage of .969%. He’ll most likely be the Capitals main start as the season goes on because their other option Ilya Samsonov has been far less consistent than Vanecek.
Conor Sheary has also been a great fit in Washington as he’s really sparked some energy in the locker room and on the ice. He had two goals in the Caps last outing.
At the end of the day this team lives and dies by its goalies and special teams. When the Power Play is hot, the team wins. When the goalies are playing badly, the team loses games. Not every team in the NHL is that straightforward, but for the Caps that pretty much tells the story.
Best Bets and Prediction
I expect the Flames to come out very strong. If they do this, I expect them to make this into a high scoring shootout. If they come out slow, I expect the Caps to jump on them and take a lead in the second period.
Either way, I do expect the Capitals to put up a good fight. Once again it really comes down to the special teams. Who’s going to take more penalties?
The Flames have almost 100 more penalty minutes this season than the Caps. I expect the Capitals to score one or two powerplay goals and win this game.
I expect it to be a close game and could be low or high scoring. I will not be touching the over/under.
Best bets here are Capitals +120 and Capitals -1.5 (+275)
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