Calgary Flames (22-16-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (31-9-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 11, 2018, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -205 / Calgary Flames +184 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Calgary Flames look to win their fifth game in a row as they head into Tampa Bay to face off against the league leading Lightning in what should be ab exciting contest on Thursday night.
The Flames are red hot right now and are starting to look like the team many expected to see coming into the season and should get back into the playoffs if they can stay on this trajectory but their attention will be focused solely on keeping the Tampa Bay offense quiet in this one. The Flames have had their struggles against teams in the Eastern Conference as they are 1-5 in their last six games and they have dropped five of their last 16 against the Lightning so it makes sense to see the Flames as such a heavy underdog but with the way they have been playing they might be worth a look here. Mike Smith is expected to get the start here as he will face off against one of his former teams as he will face off against Andrei Vasilevskiy looks to be the real deal in his first season as the team’s starter and will be out for another strong outing tonight.
The Lightning meanwhile have been world beaters this season and are looking like the front runner to win the Stanley Cup this season and they have looked lethal on home ice as they are 21-5 in their last 26 home games which puts them over the -200 mark here as a home favourite. The Bolts have so much depth up top and can score with any of their four forward lines and when you add in a very sound blue line and a bright young goaltender everything seems to be lining up for Steve Yzerman’s crew and with the trade deadline not too far off the Bolts could add some more fire power to put them over the edge. The Lightning have won 22 of their last 28 against the Western Conference and 10 of their last 13 following a win and with their track record against the Flames those trends should continue.
The Flames are 1-4 in their last five against the Atlantic and have played to the under in seven of their last eight while the Bolts are 39-14 in their last 53 overall and have hit the over in 20 of their last 28 at home. Both teams are playing well here and I think this one will be a chess match and with Smith against his old team I think goals will be at a premium.