The Nashville Predators will try to hold on to one of the Wild Card spots in the Western Conference when they play the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames in the first of two late-season matchups between the potential Stanley Cup Playoff opponents.
Flames vs. Predators, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+
Puck line: Flames -1.5 (+175), Predators +1.5 (-210)
Total: Over 6 (-110), Under 6 (-110)
Moneyline odds: Flames (-145), Predators (+125)
Moneyline pick: Predators (+125)
One things NHL players and coaches talk about often this time of year are the teams playing desperate hockey. Right now there’s no team in the League that should be playing with more desperation than the Nashville Predators. With 91 points, the Predators hold one of the two Wild Card spots but they have to hold off Vegas and possibly Los Angeles depending on how things shake down. Nashville has the hardest closing schedule in the NHL, but three of the next four at home where they are 24-14-0. If Calgary can beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday it will come close to clinching the Pacific Division. I wouldn’t be surprised if Calgary tries to rest some guys on the second half of this back-to-back or at least tries to limit their minutes. The Flames have to start thinking about being healthy for the playoffs.
Goal total: Over 6 (-110)
Both of these teams can score goals with the best of them and right now Nashville is giving up goals at an alarming clip — 15 over the past three games. Predators goalie Jusse Saros tried to start both ends of a weekend back-to-back, but gave up four goals before being pulled in the 8-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Saros will get the start Tuesday — his third in the past four days. He’s going to have to hold the fort against a Flames club that put up a nine spot against Arizona on Saturday. I expect Nashville will provide some goals in support of Saros against Calgary’s No. 2 goalie and expected starter, Dan Vladar.
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