Ottawa Senators vs. Calgary Flames – Prediction, Preview and Odds

On Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Calgary Flames will host the Ottawa Senators. The Sens come in with a 9-18-2 record compared to the Flames’ 17-10-6 mark. Ottawa is only 2 points ahead of the Canadiens, who are last in the Atlantic Division. Calgary and its 40 points are in the middle of the Pacific Division and 8 points behind leader Las Vegas.

Ottawa’s Drake Batherson is the team’s top scorer with 28 points, most of which came on the strength of his 19 assists. Josh Norris is second on the team with 22 points, but will not be in the lineup Thursday night. The Sens will also be without defenseman Thomas Chabot and starting goaltender Anton Forseberg. The Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau is 10th in the league with 38 points and is just seven points ahead of right winger Matthew Tkachuk. Goalie Jacob Markstrom has a 2.15 goals-against average, which is 5th in the league.

A Big Task

The Senators will have to contend with the Flames. The lack of a top defenseman, center and goalie won’t make things any easier. They are also on a 3-game losing streak and a 12-day break without a game. However, the Sens have been better defensively on the road than at home, which will be an advantage in this game in Calgary.
In their last loss, 6-0 at Toronto, backup goaltender Matt Murray allowed six goals on 40 shots and didn’t get any help from the offense. The Sens managed only 23 shots, all of which were stopped by the Leafs’ Jack Campbell, who earned his 4th shutout of the season. They also won just 36% of faceoffs in the loss. Ottawa has won 6 of their last 4 games against the Flames, but lost their last meeting 4-0 at home. Maybe the road will do wonders for them this time when they head to Calgary.

Finally, at home.

Calgary is coming off a 4-game road trip to start the new year. It started with a strong 5-1 win in Chicago over the Blackhawks, but followed that up with 3 straight losses to Florida, Tampa Bay and Carolina. In those 3 losses they were outscored 16-6 and went from a 13-4 road record to 13-7. In their last meeting with Ottawa in mid-November, Dan Vladar picked up his first win in his young career, saving all 27 shots for the Senators. Elias Lindholm had a goal and an assist, while Sean Monahan had a pair of assists.

In their final game of the road trip, the Flames lost 6-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Vladar allowed all 6 goals on 37 shots. In the second period the Canes did most of their damage winning the period 3-1 and taking a 4-2 lead into the third. Johnny Gaurdeau scored his 15th goal of the season to bring the Flames within one 9 minutes into the period. However, the Canes scored two more on Vladar in the final two minutes to ice the game.

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