NY Islanders (35-17-6) at Calgary (36-16-7)
When: Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome,
Time: 9:35 ET | TV: MSG-Plus, Sportsnet1
Opening Odds: Calgary -157/6
There are a lot of Stanley Cup contenders out there, but one team nobody is really talking about has been on a roll of late and leading the Metropolitan Division – the New York Islanders. They will begin a three-game trek through Western Canada on Wednesday with the first stop being Calgary to take on the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. New York has already matched last season’s win total of 35 and are winners of five of their last six and boast a 21-5-2 mark in their last 28. The Islanders have been terrific in close games as well, going 8-2-2 in one-goal games since December 15th. The Flames, who lead the Pacific Division by one point over the San Jose Sharks, have answered a four-game skid with 10 goals in their last two contests – both wins. Calgary is coming off a 5-2 win over Arizona on Monday as Elias Lindholm set up a pair of third-period goals to extend his point streak to five games (two goals, six assists). The Flames (18-5-5) are tied for the fewest regulation losses on home ice with Tampa Bay and San Jose. The teams have split their four meetings over the last two seasons and this will be the first in the 2018-19 campaign.
The Islanders made a couple of transactions on Tuesday by recalling left wing Andrew Ladd and defenseman Thomas Hickey from their two-game conditioning stints with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. Ladd had been out since mid-November with a lower-body injury and recorded five points (one goal, four assists) for the Sound Tigers while Hickey had two goals two helpers after missing 26 games with a head injury. Captain Anders Lee scored his team-leading 19th goal and first in 12 games in Saturday’s 5-2 home win over Edmonton. The Islanders will play the Oilers again on Thursday.
Captain Mark Giordano has been in the league a long time and is having one of his best seasons with a career-high 57 points after scoring and assisting against the Coyotes on Monday. Giordano’s point total puts him just three behind Dion Phaneuf’s 60 for second place by a Flames defenseman in the last 25 years, but way behind the legendary Al MacInnis (82, 1993-94). Calgary will host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday before embarking on a three-game East Coast trip that will include the Islanders next Tuesday.
I love this Calgary team, but the Islanders have been playing better and the Flames goaltending worries me. They’ve allowed three or more goals in seven of their last eight and the Isles have scored eight goals in their last two games. New York’s defense and goaltending is the best in the league at 2.3 goals per game. Take the underdog here.
Pick: Islanders +130
Islanders are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference.
Islanders are 7-1 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Islanders are 6-1 in their last 7 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
Islanders are 6-1 in their last 7 games as a road underdog.
Islanders are 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Islanders are 21-7 in their last 28 overall.
Islanders are 12-4 in their last 16 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Islanders are 11-4 in their last 15 road games.
Flames are 6-1 in their last 7 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.
Flames are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. Metropolitan.
Flames are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Flames are 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Flames are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Calgary.
Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
Islanders are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
Favorite is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.