Saturday didn’t go according to plan for the Calgary Flames or Florida Panthers. The Flames were in Tampa and put up a fight, but came up short by a score of 4-3. It looked like the Lightning were going to run away with the game and make it a blowout. However, give the Flames credit to score a couple of quick goals to get right back into contention.
Don’t give credit to the defence and David Rittich, who immediately gave a goal right back to go back down by 2 goals. It stayed that way until Sean Monahan found a goal on the power-play late in regulation. The Flames were unable to find the tying goal, though, and they left Tampa with a 4-3 loss on their resume.
That loss didn’t sting as much as the blown game against the Nashville Predators. But in any event, the Flames were still able to get a point in Nashville. The Flames have nothing to show for their trip to Tampa. All of a sudden, the Flames find themselves seven points behind the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.
Despite the divisional crown slipping away from the Flames, they still have a realistic shot at finishing in the top-3, or getting into the playoffs with a wildcard. Calgary is a point behind the Canucks for the No. 3 spot in the Pacific. The Maple Leafs helped the Flames out by beating the Canucks last night.
The Flames would be in the playoffs if they started today. However, there’s still a month left in the regular season, and there are three points behind them within a point. That doesn’t give any room for the Flames to relax and sit back. It’s a promising sign to see their offence waking up and scoring goals, but Rittich or Cam Talbot will have to get going in net soon. Both of them have not been up to the task recently.
On the other side tonight, the Panthers came up with a loss yesterday as well. They were able to get a late goal to force overtime, though. That provides them with a point, but failed in a shootout to prevent notching the bonus point. With the Maple Leafs winning last night, the Panthers fell another point back of them. The Panthers are five points back of the Maple Leafs, and three points back of a wildcard, so there’d be no playoffs in Sunrise if things remain the same in early April. Head below for our free Flames vs. Panthers pick.
Calgary Flames vs. Florida Panthers Betting Odds:
Flames vs. Panthers Prediction:
The Flames will likely be going with Cam Talbot in the crease in Sunrise today. His last start was on February 21 against the Boston Bruins. It was a bad outing for Talbot. In fact, he’s been off the mark in his last three outings. Talbot allowed 4 goals in each of those three games for a combined save percentage of 0.795. That has resulted in Talbot getting put on the bench for a while, but with the Flames on a back-to-back, Talbot will probably be back between the pipes.
He will have a tough assignment against the Panthers this evening. The Panthers didn’t show it against the Blackhawks on Saturday, but they can score in a hurry. And after they were held in check yesterday, I’d be a bit cautious if I were the Flames on defence.
Florida could certainly respond with a nice showing offensively in this one, especially against a Flames team that has been struggling in their defensive zone. Note that the Panthers are 5th in the league with 3.4 goals per game. There was a hiccup in Sunrise on Saturday, though the Panthers have scored an average of 3.59 goals per game at home in 2019-20.
Look for the Panthers to exploit the Flames’ defensive unit in this contest. They’ve been having a lot of problems generating consistent pressure on offences of late. Calgary has yielded 3.5 goals per game in their previous ten outings. Talbot and the Flames appear to be a nice opportunity for the Flames to get the offence back on track following a dud at home against the Hawks. With the Panthers on a back-to-back as well, they will likely be turning to their backup, too.
Sergei Bobrovsky has not been earning his pay this season, but he’s the best option that the Panthers have. Sam Montembeault will be called on Sunday, as the 23-year-old gets thrown into the crease against a Flames team scoring the puck at will recently. The Flames have scored an average of 4.3 goals per contest in their previous ten games. It’s probable that the Flames get to Montembeault in this one.
Montembeault holds a 3.37 GAA and 0.89 save percentage in 13 showings. He has allowed at least 3 goals in three of his last four appearances, including 4 goals allowed versus the Golden Knights in his most recent start. Montembeault has not performed well in Florida, where he has posted a 3.51 GAA and 0.895 save percentage at BB&T Center. This looks like a matchup of the higher scoring variety. With that in mind, a play on the OVER looks solid on Sunday in Sunrise.