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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction Penguins vs Flames (Saturday, March 2)
Updated:2024-05-01 21:28    Views:173
Penguins vs. Flames OddsSaturday, March 210 p.m. ETESPN+Penguins Odds+105Flames Odds-125Over / Under6-110o / -110uOdds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames on Saturday, March 2 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Two teams with fading postseason hopes collide as the Calgary Flames host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Calgary has shipped away some of its most promising players, signaling its intent to look toward the future. Although the Penguins haven't made any significant moves yet, they're rumored to be in 'sell mode' as they abandon hope of making a run at this year's postseason.

Still, one team has to walk away victorious, and that could be a turning point for either side. Unfortunately for the Flames, I give the edge to the Penguins, so let's dive into my Penguins vs. Flames pick.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Consistency has been a limiting factor for the Penguins, but they've seemingly turned a corner. On Thursday night, Pittsburgh outplayed the Seattle Kraken by a substantial margin, posting an expected goals-for rating above 60%. That was the second time in three outings in which they've posted a game score of at least 60%, relying on increased offensive production to tilt the ice in their favor.

The Penguins generated 11 high-danger and 23 scoring chances against the Kraken, which was actually lower than the 13 and 25 they managed against the Philadelphia Flyers two games prior. More impressively, they accomplished those benchmarks without compromising their defensive integrity. Pittsburgh held Seattle and Philadelphia to a combined nine high-danger and 27 scoring opportunities, with neither team exceeding five or 16.

We're also at the point in the season where we should start expecting more from Tristan Jarry. The 28-year-old has a disappointing 17-18-4 record, despite owning a 91.2% save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against average. Moreover, Jarry leads the league with six shutouts and has churned out a quality start in 25 of his 40 appearances with 9.2 goals saved above average.

Jarry is not nearly as bad as his record implies. The Penguins typically don't provide him with a lot of offensive support, but they've amplified production lately and they should have some puck luck coming soon.

Calgary Flames

Calgary's postseason hopes are hanging by a thread, and the slightest misstep could send this team into a late-season spiral. We're starting to see cracks emerge in the metrics, and with one of Calgary's top defensemen traded away earlier this week, those cracks could get bigger.

The Flames are struggling in their own end. Their past three opponents have averaged 12.3 high-danger chances. As expected, the Flames have spent much of their time chasing the puck, resulting in fewer quality opportunities created. Calgary was out-chanced in two of those three contests, but still managed to go 3-0-0.

It's also worth noting that all three of those games came with Chris Tanev in the lineup. However, the premier defender was jettisoned to the Dallas Stars earlier this week. In his last game in a Flames uniform, Tanev had two assists with a +3 rating while playing 21:10. Those benchmarks aren't easy to replicate and Calgary doesn't have the depth to replace the departed blueliner.

Although their record indicates otherwise, the Flames are losing the analytics battle over this recent stretch. As expected metrics start to balance with actual results, losses will inevitably follow.

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Penguins vs. Flames

Betting Pick & Prediction

Momentum is carrying these teams in opposite directions. Pittsburgh has dialed up the offensive intensity lately and is creating more chances. It didn't pay off against the Kraken, but the Penguins should start to be rewarded for their production.

Conversely, Calgary has been bailed out by elite goaltending and an opportunistic offense, but is consistently getting outplayed.

I'm betting the Flames' house of cards burns to the ground on Saturday night. The best line available has Pittsburgh at +110, but I'll take any plus-money wager on the board.

Pick: Penguins +110 (BetMGM)

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