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NHL Free Pick: Penguins vs. Flames Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview

NHL Lines: Pittsburgh vs Calgary Pick

Friday night in the NHL will feature an interesting match up between the Pittsburgh Penguins (29-14-8) and the Calgary Flames (29-20-3). Cappers Picks will provide free NHL picks all season so check back often.

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Pittsburgh vs Calgary
When: Friday Feb. 6 at 9:00 pm EST
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
TV:Sportsnet
NHL Gambling Line: Calgary +101/ Pittsburgh -111
NHL Gambling Over Under Line: 5.5
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This is probably the most interesting match up on the Friday night schedule as the Penguins continue their road trip through western Canada against a Flames team that is rolling right now. Calgary has surprised a lot of people this year and are sitting in a tie for second in the Pacific Division with San Jose.

Pittsburgh has been stuck in neutral for a spell but have a healthy Evegni Malkin back in the lineup and they’re capable of beating anyone on any night.

Penguins

Pittsburgh opened their western road swing with a 2-0 win over the Oilers. It’s hard to put a lot of stock into that win even though Edmonton has been better of late. The 2-0 scoreline doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence as the Oilers are one of the league’s worst defensive teams, and the Penguins only managed to put 26 shots on goaltender Viktor Fasth.

This could be a case of the Pens trying to employ a more well rounded brand of hockey or it could just be that they’re slumping as a team and goals are just not coming easy for them.

I’m all for a smart, defense-first mentality but when you have stars like Crosby and Malkin, along with Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang, you should be scoring more than 1.8 goals per game, which is the rate they’ve been scoring at since the All Star break.

With the Flames coming off a convincing 3-1 win over San Jose, Pittsburgh will be in tough to find the net and the offense will need to wake up for this game if they want to have any chance against a team that is playing some of its best hockey of the season right now.

Flames

The Flames are rolling right now and are one of they hottest teams in the NHL with a record of 8-2-0 over their past 10 games, a record that is matched only by the Detroit Red Wings and bettered by the St. Louis Blues who are 9-0-1.

Calgary is really showing that a team first mentality and hard work can produce results as there isn’t a lot of star power on this team, but rather a group that has bought into Bob Hartley’s concept of being tough to play against in all areas of the ice and outworking your opponent.

Johnny Gaudreau is making a strong case for rookie of the year, as he sits second in rookie scoring with 39 points, good enough for third in scoring on the Flames.

Mark Giordano is having a career year and will definitely get a long look for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman. Giordano has a team leading 43 points to go along with a +19 rating that is second on the team only to his defense partner T.J. Brodie.

Jonas Hiller has been solid in net and though his numbers have dipped a bit after a flying start, he is still a solid netminder night in and night out for this team and is coming off a 28 save performance in the Flames’ 3-1 win over the Sharks.

Penguins vs. Flames 4* Free Pick

This is honestly almost a coin toss, as much of this game depends on which Penguins team shows up. If Pittsburgh is on they’re just too talented for Calgary to keep up with.

The Pens however haven’t been impressive for some time and Calgary is hot right now.

The Flames are a very slight home underdog and based on their play of late I’d have to lean towards them in this game.

Pick the Flames in this one.

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About Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.


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