Just when you thought your Saturday couldn’t get any better, there is another NHL marquee matchup that is surely worth the watch. Two of the more competitive teams in the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues face off with the Calgary Flames on Saturday night in the great providence of Alberta. Join us in our NHL odds series, where our Blues-Flames prediction and pick will be made.

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The Blues enter this prime-time Saturday night bonanza at 37-20-10, including having a respectable road mark at 16-11-6. After reeling off back-to-back wins, St. Louis experienced a bitter, high-scoring defeat in overtime at the Oilers 6-5. With the OT loss, the Blues still managed to pick up a point and now sit comfortably with 84 points.

Surprisingly, Calgary is fresh off of two consecutive losses for the first time since mid-January, an impressive feat regardless. Bottom line, the Flames aren’t used to coming up on the short end of the stick. If it makes Calgary feel any better, their two straight defeats came at the hands of stellar competition in the Avalanche and Kings, two teams that are making some noise in the Western Conference. The Flames are 40-18-9 in 67 games played and have gone 5-3-2 in their past ten outings.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Blues-Flames NHL odds:

NHL Odds: Blues-Flames Odds

St. Louis Blues: +1.5 (-120)

Calgary Flames: -1.5 (+100)

Over: 6.5 (-106)

Under: 6.5 (-114)

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Why the Blues Could Cover the Spread

St. Louis can cover the spread on the road in Calgary by simply copying the formula that was set by Colorado and Los Angeles in extinguishing the Flames. After only scoring three goals in those two games, Calgary did in fact get plenty of shots on net, but they were, for the most part, outworked and outplayed. In fact, the high-octane offensive attack of the Flames only put up 28 shots in their recent shootout loss at home against the Kings.

The Blues must do everything in their power to limit the Calgary scoring chances because if they don’t, this game could get out of hand early. St. Louis can’t afford to have a repeat of their first period versus the Oilers in which Edmonton scored the first four goals of the contest in the first period. Despite their record, this has been a common theme for a Blues team that has surrendered the first goal in seven of their past eight games officially.

It will also be intriguing to see who is between the pipes for St. Louis in this one, as goalie Jordan Binnington was ultimately removed in his poor outing at Edmonton. If Binnington doesn’t get the start, the Blues will no doubt turn to Ville Hasso, who already has 18 wins on the year and is only giving up 2.40 goals per game. On a positive note, the Flames will look to avoid making trips to the penalty box, as the Blues excel in capitalizing on the power play. St. Louis currently converts on nearly 25% of their power play opportunities. St. Louis is 37-30 ATS this season.

Why the Flames Could Cover the Spread

At some point, you would think that the Flames are going to break free of their offensive funk and start potting some scores. Calgary is a squad that is averaging 3.54 goals per contest, so as long as the Flames are able to put keep the pressure in the opposition’s zone and get shots on goal, then they have a decent shot in picking up the slack barring a sensational effort by one of St. Louis’ goaltenders.

Calgary’s calling card all season long has been their ferociousness on the defensive side of the ice. The Flames force teams to make bad decisions when passing the puck, which in turn cause turnovers and gifts Calgary on scoring opportunities going the other way. Calgary has some cushion to work within the division standings by being up five and six points on LA and Edmonton respectively, but the bleeding needs to be stopped to avoid a late-campaign scare.

In order for that to come into fruition and to cover the spread while doing so, Jakob Markstrom will be the poster boy in this contest. His play will be the difference on Saturday, especially if the Calgary offense is non-existent once again. Markstrom currently leads the NHL in shutouts and is 31-13-8 when in net. The Flames are 36-31 ATS thus far in 2021-2022.

Final Blues-Flames Prediction & Pick

Both clubs are coming off gut-wrenching losses in overtime and a shootout, so who will dig deep when the fatigue sets in and get over the hump on their way to victory? Believe it or not, the Flames should have the slight edge in this one. Calgary will be playing with their hair on fire, and with a couple of goals early, the Flames will use their defensive prowess to shut down the Blues’ attack on offense.

This matchup will be a one-goal game in the late stages of the third period, as Calgary bettors will be overjoyed when the Flames tack on an empty-net goal to go up by two, thus covering the -1.5 spread.

Final Blues-Flames Pick: Flames -1.5 (+100)