The Calgary Flames had a gut wrenching loss on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators. In just about one of the worst ways to lose, the Flames scored with less than a minute on the regulation clock to take a 3-2 lead. However, the game was not done yet, as they soon found out. The Predators scored with 0.1 left in regulation to give up the lead they gained seconds before.
That set the stage for a sloppy overtime and 4-3 win for the Predators. After giving up that lead, the Flames were gutted and didn’t seem to have any jump left in their stride. That’s two big points for the Predators, and a point lost that might come back to haunt the Flames. Every point is important for the Flames now.
Calgary is 33-25-7 heading into a tricky matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. They are currently in possession of a wildcard, but there isn’t any room to breathe. The Predators and Jets are a point behind the Flames in the Western Conference, and there is company behind them as well. Arizona is just three points behind the Flames, while the Wild are only two points back.
In other words, the point that they were 0.1 seconds away from getting, might end up being a big miss later on. If the Flames aren’t going to the playoffs because of 1 point, that’s going to be a game that sticks out like a sore and throbbing thumb. The Flames don’t get much of a break because their next game is against a formidable opponent Saturday in Florida. If there’s any form of a hangover from the loss in Nashville, then the Lightning could have their way in this contest.
We will see what kind of resilience the Flames have. Some teams will allow a loss like that to manifest itself and destroy a season, or it can do the opposite and light a spark underneath them. They face a Lightning squad who are suddenly going through a dry spell. This was a team that was on a massive tear and couldn’t be touched. Now things have looked dire, as the Lightning go into Saturday on a four-game losing streak. This is after the Bolts won 11 straight games. Head below for our free Flames vs. Lightning pick.
Calgary Flames vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Odds:
Flames vs. Lightning Prediction:
The Flames were doing well for themselves with an up-tempo attack recently. They won three of four games before getting tagged with that 4-3 loss in Nashville. The offence has been playing a lot better of late, so that’s certainly a positive to take. They also have a win over the top ranked team in the league, the Boston Bruins. It was almost two wins over the Bruins, but they allowed a 3-1 lead to get away from them last night. In any event, scoring 8 goals on the Bruins in two games is not an easy task. That’s a really good defence that they were able to slice through.
Calgary has scored at least 3 goals in their last ten games. That’s quite the improvement over earlier in the season. This is an offence that was really proficient last season. They moved the puck around brilliantly in the opposing zone, though for much of this season, it’s been like they’ve expected it to be a given without having to work for it. And I think recently Geoff Ward is realizing that the Flames aren’t going to win by sitting back and letting David Rittich win games. The Flames need to attack more offensively.
That’s been the case recently. Over the course of the season, the Flames have averaged 2.91 goals per game for 20th in the league. However, in their last ten games, they’ve notched 4.6 goals per contest. That’s a significant leap forward for the Flames. It doesn’t help when the defence has given up 3.3 goals per game, but at least the offence is showing signs of heating up. They are likely going to need all of the offence they can get versus the Lightning tonight. Tampa has been a machine at home, with about 4 goals scored per game at Amalie Arena.
The Flames have had a lot of issues against the Lightning offence in recent meetings. The Bolts have recorded 18 goals in their previous three meetings, dating back to February 2018, for 6 goals per game. Rittich has been a practice target out there for the Lightning, as they’ve lit him up for a 4.76 GAA and 0.836 save percentage in three contests.
Cam Talbot is an option for the Flames, though he’s been awful of late, with 4 goals against in each of his last three appearances. Talbot has also allowed 3 or more goals in four out of his previous five starts. Either way, the Lightning are likely going to find the back of the net on Saturday. This should turn into an entertaining affair, with the OVER worth a look at Amalie Arena on Saturday in Tampa.