NHL Picks: Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

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Calgary is the final stop for the Vancouver Canucks on a four-game road trip and when these teams faceoff tonight at10 pm ET, the Northwest division leader will look to make it a perfect sweep.



Vancouver has outscored opponents 12-7 through the past three games but the lion’s share of that five goal differential came Thursday in Minnesota. In what was arguably their best all-round effort since Jan. 4, the Canucks responded from an early one-goal deficit with goals from five different players in a 5-2 victory.


The Wild were held to just 24 shots on goal and Cory Schneider was solid but tonight, it’s Roberto Luongo in net vs. Miikka Kiprusoff. Luongo is 22-11-3 vs. the Flames in 36 starts with a 2.53 goals against average and in his last visit to the Saddledome, Luongo stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 5-1 Canucks win.


Online sportsbooks feature NHL odds for this contest and the current line is Vancouver (-145) with a total of 5 Over (-140). Moneyline odds opened at -140 but the sports betting public is siding with the favorite.


It’s no coincidence that Vancouver’s Jan. 4 game mentioned above was also against the Wild, a 3-0 win. Calgary and Minnesota share similar traits that could also be described as “flaws” or deficiencies and the Canucks should be able to take advantage.


Byron Bitz adds a physical presence to the Canucks’ top line and coach Alain Vigneault’s line shuffling experiment has been deemed a success. The Flames have scored a total of six goals in their past five home games (1.2 GPG) and that is rarely enough against this potent Vancouver lineup.


NHL Picks: We lean to the Canucks in regulation.


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Good luck.