The 2021-22 NHL season has entered its final stretch, making every remaining game count when it comes to the playoffs. That’s especially true for Thursday’s Vegas Golden Knights vs Calgary Flames matchup.
The Golden Knights have been solid lately, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. Unfortunately, they currently sit three points back of the Western Conference’s Wild Card spot with eight games to play. Needless to say, Thursday’s contest is a must-win situation.
Meanwhile, the Flames enter tonight’s match riding a five-game winning streak. They sit atop the Central Division with 99 points and a victory over the Golden Knights would go a long way in solidifying that position.
As usual, here’s a look at everything you need to know for tonight’s Golden Knights vs Flames game, from the betting odds to the best bet to make and everything in between.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Calgary Flames Matchup Info and Betting Odds
- Game Matchup: Vegas Golden Knights (40-29-5, 85 points, 4th in Pacific Division) vs. Calgary Flames (45-19-9, 99 points, 1st in Pacific Division)
- Venue & Location: Scotiabank Saddledome (Calgary, Alberta)
- Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2022
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- How to Watch Golden Knights vs. Flames: ESPN+
- Moneyline: Vegas Golden Knights +140, Calgary Flames -160
- Total: OVER 6 (-110), UNDER 6 (-110)
- Puck Line: Vegas Golden Knights +1.5 (-190), Calgary Flames -1.5 (+160)
Odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Golden Knights Must Win to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
The 2021-22 NHL season hasn’t gone the way that the Golden Knights planned. After being one of the top teams in the league since the club’s inception, injuries throughout the current campaign have left Vegas fighting for a postseason spot.
The Golden Knights currently have the 15th-hardest remaining NHL schedule, with five of their next eight opponents owning above-.500 records.
With two of those contests being against teams that Vegas is chasing (Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers), a victory over the Flames is a must. After all, the Golden Knights sit three points behind the Stars for the final Wild Card spot despite having already played one more game than Dallas.
The good news is that the Golden Knights have momentum on their side. For starters, team captain Mark Stone returned to the lineup on Tuesday.
Although Stone was held without a point in his return, his 28 points in 29 games this season demonstrate his importance to his team. That’s not even to mention the positive impact that his leadership can have on his teammates.
The Golden Knights have also six of their last eight games ahead of this matchup. Jack Eichel has begun to look more comfortable, notching six goals (and three assists) in those games, while Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson have been impressive with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
In terms of betting trends, this game has the potential to become a high-scoring affair. Not only has the total hit the over in four of Vegas’ last five games, but it’s also done the same in five of the Golden Knights’ last six visits to the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Flames Look to Keep Winning Streak Rolling
Winning streaks and the Flames have gone hand-in-hand this season. After all. their current successful run of five consecutive games is their third-longest winning streak of the campaign.
The Flames’ offense and defense have been consistent lately, with the club outscoring their opponents by an average of 4-2 in their last five games. On top of that, they’ve allowed two or fewer goals four times over that stretch.
Five Calgary players playing at point-per-game paces during the winning streak, including two defensemen: Noah Hanifin (7) and Michael Stone (5). Continued support from the backend is what the Flames need to keep the momentum rolling.
Another player worth watching is Elias Lindholm, who has a career-high 38 goals this season. The organization hasn’t had a player hit the 40-goal mark since Jarome Iginla netted 43 in 2010-11 and it would be fitting if Lindholm hits the milestone tonight on home ice.
Another thing that the Flames have going for them is that they notched an impressive 6-0 victory over the Golden Knights the last time these teams met on Feb. 9.
Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk led the way with four and three points, respectively, that night, so the Flames wouldn’t complain if the duo could recreate history Thursday.
In terms of betting trends, the Flames have done well against the spread lately, going 4-1 ATS in their last five games. With Caesars Sportsbook giving them +160 odds to cover the 1.5-point spread, there’s some potential betting value to be had.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Calgary Flames Prediction and Best Bets
Although this game is a must-win situation for the Golden Knights, I’m going with the Flames to walk out of Thursday’s matchup as the victors.
At the end of the day, the Flames have a lot more momentum going for them. Yes, the Golden Knights have gotten a huge boost with Stone’s return, however, it remains to be seen how long it’ll take before he looks like his old self.
Another point against Vegas is the fact that it has allowed at least five goals in two of the last three games. With how well the Flames’ top offensive stars are playing, that’s just a recipe for disaster.
In terms of the best bet, I’ll take the total hitting over six goals at -110 odds. As mentioned above, this matchup has the potential to be a high-scoring affair and the two teams’ recent history suggests that the total will hit the over.
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