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Flames To Rebound Over Bruins

The Calgary Flames hope to bounce back into form when they welcome the Boston Bruins at the Calgary Saddledome on Saturday, but the betting online odds are finer than a toothcomb. The Bruins are coming off a win over the Edmonton Oilers. And as they small underdogs, they’ll fancy their chances of making it two in a row at the expense of the Flames, who’ve lost their spark of late behind a three-game losing streak.

Game: Boston Bruins (13-8-2) at Calgary Flames (15-6-6)

Jacob Markstrom warms up before a game Boston Bruins vs Calgary Flames Picks
Rich Gagnon/Getty Images/AFP

Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary

Day/Time: Saturday, Dec, 11, 2021, 10 p.m. ET

Television: ESPN

Boston Bruins vs. Calgary Flames

Bruins Bounce Back

Boston snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Matt Grzelcyk scored late to lift the Bruins to the victory at Rogers Place.

Brad Marchand opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the first period. Jake DeBrusk gave the visitors the 2-0 lead in the second period, but the Oilers got one back on a power play from Leon Draisitl with 1:46 left in the second stanza.

Draisitl scored a second power-play goal midway through the third period to knot the game up at 2 apiece. However, the Black and Gold came back with the game-winner just minutes before the end, completing a successful comeback and cracking the win column for the first time since beating Nashville 2-0 on Dec. 3.

Boston’s goal production has been less than stellar, especially on 5-on-5 play. They’re in the bottom half of the table with 2.78 goals per game scored on average. The power play has been firing at all cylinders though. With 18 power-play goals, they’re tied for seventh-best in the league. Goaltending is another area of strength with 2.57 goals allowed. Netminder Jeremy Swayman boasts an average of 2.15 goals allowed and a .922 save percentage.

Flames Spark Out

The Flames have lost their mojo in recent weeks, succumbing to a 2-1 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night as they slipped to their third straight defeat.

The Flames returned to the Saddledome after a two-game road stretch that pitted them against the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks and saw them outscored 8-5 combined.

Calgary’s defense has been a pillar of strength since the start of the season, but it struggled against the potent Vegas offense and the opportunistic Sharks.

The Flames are top of the league with 2.15 goals per game allowed. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom leads the league with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. Calgary’s offense is a respectable 13th in the league scoring an average of 3.07 goals per game.

Back Low-Scoring Affair

BetUS sportsbook has rolled out a tight betting market on this game, which is shaping up to be a defensive battle between two of the league’s stoutest defenses.

Form is a bit of a concern for the hosts, but with the Bruins only just nipping back into the win column, it’s a total tossup for NHL picks as far as the moneyline is concerned.

One could argue the Flames are due a win, but at -135 odds or higher, it’s not the best value for a team in the midst of poor form.

Alternatively, the Bruins are tempting as the road underdogs of +120 or thereabouts (depending on the continuous ebb and flow of the line), but can the offense be trusted against one of the hottest defenses?

On paper, these inter-conference rivals have the offensive firepower to flip the script and deliver a veritable shootout that will go against the grain. However, it’s more likely than not, the defenses will cancel out the offense, resulting in a low-scoring affair that comes UNDER the game total.

Pick: Under 5½ (-115)

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