The Flames have caught fire, blazing their way to four straight wins heading into Monday’s puck drop at the Garden.
Calgary controlled five-on-five play until the final minutes of the game in their 5-2 conquest over the Islanders on Saturday.
In what has otherwise been an erratic campaign, the Flames have garnered some consistency at five-on-five over the course of this win streak.
Jacob Markstrom has rebounded this season with a 15.7 GSA. He hasn’t allowed more than three goals through the last four games, sporting a 95.4 SV percentage.
It’s consistent netminding and a No. 3 overall ranked penalty kill that has been able to keep the Flames afloat.
Rangers vs. Flames prediction
(7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Well, guess what? The Rangers are also a work in progress at five-on-five play that has been saved by their efficient special teams.
Don’t get me wrong — New York is the better team pound-for-pound, outranking Calgary in almost every other basic stat metric. But both teams here have been mediocre in expected goals rate and don’t create loads of prime scoring opportunities.
Another commonality is that New York and Calgary are among the most disciplined teams in hockey, both accruing just about four penalty minutes per game.
Igor Shesterkin’s return to action since the All-Star break was adequate until two late Chicago goals sent Friday’s game to overtime. It’s officially safe to say that the team’s No. 1 goaltending duties are up in the air with Jonathan Quick’s ongoing revival.
With the season’s midway point in the rearview, the cost of the crease ownership will come at delivering nothing short of head-standing play.
Betting on the NHL?
The Rangers took the Oct. 24, 2023, meeting, 3-1. They scored two power-play goals despite getting outshot, 26-20, by the Flames.
I’m looking for offense to materialize at the same kind of rate in Monday’s rematch for as long as both teams stay out of the box.
THE PLAY: Flames-Rangers Under 6.5 (-128, FanDuel)