May 5, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) guards his net against the Calgary Flames during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
- The Calgary Flames look to rebound when they visit the Dallas Stars for Game 3 of their NHL first-round playoff series
- The Stars evened the series at 1-1 with a 2-0 win, but remain underdogs going into Game 3
- Below, see the Flames vs Stars Game 3 odds and trends ahead of Saturday night’s matchup at American Airlines Center
The Calgary Flames look to rediscover their scoring touch when they travel to Dallas on Saturday for Game 3 of their Western Conference first round playoff series. Game time for Saturday’s clash is set for 9:30pm ET at American Airlines Center.
After eking out a 1-0 victory in Game 1, the Flames came up short in a 2-0 loss in game time on Thursday night. Despite their offensive struggles, the Flames look to Game 3 perched as steady -160 favorites to reclaim both the series lead and home ice advantage. The Stars lag as +135 underdogs in the Game 3 NHL odds, while the total is pegged at 5.5, with the UNDER sporting strengthening -130 odds.
Flames vs Stars Game 3 Odds
|Calgary Flames||-160||O 5.5 (+105)||-1.5 (+165)|
|Dallas Stars||+135||U 5.5 (-130)||+1.5 (-200)|
Odds as of May 6th at BetMGM.
Calgary is listed as a +165 bet to claim victory by a multi-goal margin in the puckline odds, while the Stars are listed as a short -200 wager to keep to within two goals of the Flames. Calgary’s -160 moneyline odds translate to an implied probability of victory of 64.54%, while the Stars’ position as +135 underdogs translate to a 42.55% implied win probability.
With Thursday’s Game 2 victory, the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak against Calgary. Dallas has dropped four of six home dates to the Flames, with five of those matchups getting settled by a single goal.
However, the Stars’ performance has done little to boost them in the NHL playoff series prices, where they continue to lag as +220 underdogs. They also remain well off the pace in the Stanley Cup odds as a distant +5000 bet.
Flames Lacking Offensive Spark
The Flames offence ranked seventh in the NHL this season in goals scored, but has been effectively shut down by a gritty Stars defence and stellar goaltending by Dallas netminder Jake Oettinger. Calgary stumbled out of the gate in Game 2, tallying just six first-period shots, but fared no better while outshooting Dallas by a 23-14 margin the rest of the way.
Thursday’s loss marked the Flames’ first shutout loss at home in the postseason since 2006, and extends a worrisome trend that has seen the club score just three total even strength goals in their past four overall contests.
— Calgary Sun (@calgarysun) May 6, 2022
Jacob Markstrom can hardly be blamed for the Flames’ sudden struggles. The Finnish netminder has stopped 37 of 38 total shots he has faced in the series, and has limited opponents to two or fewer goals in five of six outings.
Jacob Markstrom recorded a shutout against the Stars, saving all 16 shots on goal Tuesday night.#Flames take a 1-0 lead over Dallas.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) May 4, 2022
A lack of production from the top line of Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau, and Matthew Tkachuk is a concern. The trio combined to score 124 total goals during the regular season, but has mustered just eighth total shots on goal in the series, and scored just five total even strength goals over the past five games.
Stars Defense-First Strategy Producing Results
The lowest scoring squad amongst playoff-bound teams during the regular season, the Stars’ defensive approach has paid dividends. While Dallas shooters have mustered just 39 total shots on goal in this series, they have not hesitated to sacrifice their bodies to stick to their defence-first game plan.
With an active shutout streak of 114:59, Jake Oettinger helped lead the way to a major Stars victory in game ✌
— x – Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 6, 2022
The Stars blocked 20 shots in Thursday’s win, while also forcing Calgary to give away the puck 21 times. Perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of the Flames has been Michael Raffl. The Austrian veteran has excelled in his role as pest, but has also contributed defensively in his own zone, and added an insurance empty net goal in Game 3.
— TYLER KASCH (@TheTylerKasch) May 4, 2022
Of course, the exceptional play of Jake Oettinger cannot be understated. Oettinger was on the hook for a pair of losses against Calgary during the regular season, but has stopped 53 of 54 shots faced in the series. In addition, he helped the Stars rack up a steady 27-10-4 home record this season by allowing just two goals per game during a 5-1-0 run over his past six home starts.
Calgary vs Dallas Game 3 Pick
Finding a way to dictate the pace will be a huge challenge for the Flames, who had already struggled to score before this series started. If Dallas can stick to its ferocious defensive game plan, and avoid falling behind early, they are well positioned to take the lead in this series.
The Pick: Dallas Stars (+135)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.