The NHL is set up with another great night of hockey on Wednesday. Nine games will be up on the board throughout May 5. One of these games will be between the Winnipeg Jets and the Calgary Flames. These two teams are both looking for an important two points as the playoffs get closer. This game will drop the puck at around 9:30 PM Eastern time.
Winnipeg has earned a record of 27-21-3 throughout this season, which has them in third place of the North Division. The Canadiens are tied with the Jets in the standings and will look to leap them with a win and Winnipeg loss on Wednesday. The Jets have lost seven games in a row entering this one and will look to finally get back in the win column.
The Flames have put up a record of 22-25-3 to this point in the season, which has them in fifth place of the North Division. Calgary is ten points out of a playoff spot and will need to basically win out if they want a chance. The Flames are coming off a loss in their last game, but have won three of their last five. Calgary will look to earn a much needed two points in this one.
These two teams are in different parts of the standings, but both need the two points on Wednesday. The Jets have been in a huge slump as of late and are in danger of dropping to the fourth seed. Calgary has struggled to find consistency this season and will need a miracle push to get in. If either team can come out hot early in this one though, it could be enough for the win.
The Jets and the Flames have met up eight times already this season. Winnipeg hosted the first two games of the season series. Patrik Laine had two goals and an assist in the first matchup to help give the Jets a 4-3 win in overtime. Elias Lindholm had two assists, while Johnny Gaudreau scored the winner in the shootout to give Calgary a 4-3 win in the second meeting.
The third and fourth game of the season series stayed in Winnipeg on February 2 and 4. Nikolaj Ehlers scored the eventual game winner in the third game as the Jets grabbed a 3-2 win. Mason Appleton scored twice in the fourth game, while Mathieu Perreault added three assists. Winnipeg earned a big 4-1 win to finish out their home stint.
Calgary hosted the fifth and sixth game of the season series. Andrew Mangiapane, Byron Froese and Elias Lindholm all scored for the Flames to help Calgary earn a 3-2 win in the fifth matchup. Kyle Connor, Paul Stastny and Blake Wheeler all had a goal and an assist in the sixth game to help give the Jets a 3-2 win on the road.
The seventh and eight game stayed in Calgary on March 27 and 29. Josh Leivo, Mark Giordano, Andrew Mangiapane and Sam Bennett all scored for the Flames in a 4-2 win in the seventh meeting. Mark Scheifele had two goals and an assist, while Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists in the eight game. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Jets grabbed a 5-1 win.
Winnipeg has been really strong on the power play this season. The Jets have capitalized on 36 of their 150 power play chances, which is a 24 percent success rate. Winnipeg has struggled a bit on the penalty kill though. The Jets have given up 28 power play goals on 137 penalties against, which is a 79.6 percent penalty kill.
The Flames has not been great on the power play so far this season. Calgary has scored on 30 of their 154 power play attempts, which is a 19.5 percent power play. The Flames have been around middle of the league on the penalty kill though. Calgary has killed off 123 of their opponents 153 power play opportunities, which is an 80.4 percent kill rate.
The Jets have a slight edge on special teams in this one. Winnipeg has had a much better power play, while the Flames penalty kill has only been slightly better. Calgary will look to stay out of the box in this one after giving up a lot of penalties this season. If either team can score with the man advantage in this one, it could be enough to grab the win on Wednesday night.
I expect Connor Hellebuyck to get start in the crease for the Jets in this one. Hellebuyck has earned a record of 21-16-3 throughout his 41 starts this season. He has posted a .912 save percentage and GAA of 2.72. Hellebuyck’s last start was against the Montreal Canadiens, where he stopped 30 of 34 shots in the losing effort.
Jacob Markstrom will likely get the nod between the pipes for Calgary on Wednesday night. Markstrom has started in 38 games this season, going 18-18-2. He has put up a save percentage of .906 and a 2.67 GAA so far. Markstrom finished with 25 saves on 27 shots in his last start against the Edmonton Oilers, which was not enough for the win.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. Hellebuyck has been stronger throughout this season, but he has lost his last six starts. The Jets will need him to bounce back with a big performance in this one. Markstrom is coming off more days off and will look to use that to his advantage.
Winnipeg has struggled heavily down the stretch, but they will have a great chance to earn a big two points on Wednesday night. I think that the Jets will finally end this skid against Calgary. Winnipeg has the better goalie and special teams. The Jets have also had the Flames number throughout this season and I think that will continue in this one.
BetOnline has Calgary listed as a -114 against the money line on Wednesday. This implies that the Flames will win this game around 53.3 percent of the time. Winnipeg has struggled as of late, but I do not think they should be underdogs in this one. The Jets are looking to break out of this slump, and this seems like the game to do it. I am taking Winnipeg as underdogs.