The New York Islanders (22-16-2) visit the Calgary Flames (18-14-7) for a 9 p.m. ET tilt at the Saddledome Friday. Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Islanders vs. Flames odds, and make our expert NHL picks and predictions.
New York had a rough patch in December, but the Islanders are 4-2-0 in their last 6 games. Friday’s game caps off a 4-game Northwest road swing and is the back half of a double. The Isles lost 4-2 at Edmonton Thursday. They are 5-2 this season in the back half of back-to-back games.
The Flames last played on Tuesday, losing at the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Calgary outshot Winnipeg 35-25 in that game, and the Flames have outshot opponents in 5 straight games.
Islanders at Flames odds
Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub Lines last updated at 11:03 a.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Islanders +180 (bet $100 to win $180) | Flames -210 (bet $210 to win $100)
- Puck line/Against the spread (ATS): Islanders +1.5 (-140) | Flames -1.5 (+120)
- Over/Under (O/U): 5.5 (O: -115 | U: -105)
Islanders at Flames projected goalies
Semyon Varlamov (8-3-1, 2.65 GAA, .919 SV%) vs Jacob Markstrom (12-10-4, 2.79 GAA, .895 SV%)
Varlamov has been undone by an .850 SV% while short-handed. He was activated from the IR (lower body) Monday and is making his 1st start since Dec. 17.
Markstrom started at Winnipeg Tuesday and allowed 3 goals on 25 shots. Calgary has done well to limit scoring chances, and the 32-year-old netminder owns a 2.25 GAA over his last 4 games.
Islanders at Flames picks and predictions
Flames 4, Islanders 2
Calgary has won by 2-plus goals in 4 of the last 5 meetings between these clubs.
Varlamov is usually a solid backup, but his stay on the IR could lead to some rust. Against a team he has scuffled against (.840 SV% last 3 starts), and with a top defensive defenseman out (D Adam Pelech, concussion), that potential rust could be quite costly.
The Isles have played well in back-to-backs, but Calgary has posted excellent puck-possession numbers of late and is the more rested side.
CALGARY (-210) is a solid play for bettors with enough bankroll to absorb the price. Some bettors may want to consider the puck line instead or a 50-50 (or similar mix) play using both the money and puck lines.
The Flames are 1-3-1 in their last 5 home games. The 1 win was by a lone goal. So, that trend continuing makes for the risk — though worth it — on this play.
For the Islanders, previous road swings of 3-or-more games resulted in the team going 1-2 in road finales. Both losses were by multiple goals.
TAKE THE FLAMES -1.5 (+120).
Plenty of gray area here with Varlamov returning and both sides having defenses a bit out of phase with goaltending performances (1 up and 1 down or vice-versa).