St. Louis Blues (44-20-5) at Calgary Flames (38-26-5)
|Date & Time||Tuesday March 17, 2015, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Calgary Flames +120 / St. Louis Blues -133 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Calgary Flames are still clinging to a playoff spot in the Western Conference but they missed a huge opportunity the other night to really give themselves a boost. Not only did the Flames catch a break with the Nashville Predators rallying for a victory against the Los Angeles Kings, but they had a chance to pick up a win against a team on the outside of the playoff race looking in. Calgary traveled to Colorado and couldn’t take advantage of a first period that they had control of. The Flames out shot the Avalanche 12-6 in the first period but couldn’t find a way to get on the board. The Avalanche took control in the middle frame, scoring twice and putting the Flames in a big time hole heading to the third. David Jones got Calgary within a goal with his 12th goal of the season, but Colorado answered right back 28 seconds later to regain their two goal lead. Lance Bouma scored his 13th goal of the season 1:26 after Colorado’s third goal, but the Flames couldn’t find a way to get the equalizer. Instead of opening up a four point lead over the Kings for the third spot in the Pacific Division they stayed just one point ahead, with Los Angeles having a game in hand. It’s frustrating for a lot of reasons but now Calgary needs to get reenergized because they’ve got a great opportunity in front of them with a five game home stand. If the Flames can find a way to get two points against an extremely tough St. Louis Blues club on Tuesday night, they’ll have a chance to sweep this home stand with some good play. Games against the Flyers, Blue Jackets, Avalanche, and Stars mean games against clubs that are all on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. This is where the Flames need to make their mark, and it starts on Tuesday night.
St. Louis is sitting pretty atop the Central Division standings and if Nashville’s struggles continue it looks like they might be on their way to what could be the top overall seed in the Western Conference. Vladimir Tarasenko has been an absolute force this year for the Blues and though they’ve been known in years past as a defensive juggernaut they have found ways to score a lot of goals this year. Like a lot of teams in this league the Blues will be judged by how they perform in the post season, because they have a habit of playing extremely well in the regular season and falling apart come playoff time. A loss on Saturday to Minnesota snapped a three game winning streak, despite the Blues absolutely dominating the hockey game, but St. Louis got right back on track on Sunday. Both teams appeared a little sluggish in this one and there were just 28 total shots by the two clubs through two scoreless periods. Tarasenko got the Blues on the board in the third with his 34th goal of the season and Alexander Steen allowed everyone to breathe a little easier with his 20th of the year. T.J. Oshie finished the scoring with a goal into the empty net as the Blues wrapped up a 3-0 win.
St. Louis heads into this hockey game as one of the best teams in the league. They have an opportunity at the President’s Trophy and for a club that is 24-9-2 on home ice this season it would benefit them immensely to gain home ice throughout the playoffs. Calgary can really set themselves up for a great home stand if they can just find a way to win this one.