Penguins vs Flames Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: Calgary Defenseman Steps Up

MacKenzie Weegar could be seeing increased ice time after Calgary traded away Chris Tanev and he could be quite busy with Pittsburgh desperate to find some offense. Read more in our NHL betting picks below.

Mar 2, 2024 • 14:34 ET • 4 min read
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MacKenzie Weegar Calgary Flames NHL
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A pair of outside-looking-in teams will cap off a 13-game slate tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins continue their four-game West Coast road trip against the Calgary Flames, who are riding a four-game winning streak and sit as slight -125 home favorites.

Coming off a shutout loss in Seattle and talking about getting more pucks on net, should bettors be looking into Pittsburgh shot markets for value tonight vs. the Flames who just traded away a 20-minute defenseman in Chris Tanev?

I break down the NHL odds and offer my free NHL picks for Penguins vs. Flames for Saturday, March 2.   

Penguins vs Flames odds

Penguins vs Flames predictions

The Pittsburgh Penguins had their three-game winning streak snapped in Seattle on Thursday with a 2-0 loss. They entered the first intermission down 1-0 despite outshoting the Kraken 18-8. 

Getting shots on net — especially from the point — seems to be an area of focus tonight from Pittsburgh, who is in desperation mode at seven points out of a playoff spot with the trade deadline looming.
  
"We could have done a better job getting pucks through," Penguins forward Marcus Pettersson said. "I think their defense stepped in front of a lot of shots. It felt like we could find some different avenues from the blue line a little bit better. I don't think we got in his grill enough, and we didn't get enough pucks there."

That sounds like a shoot-first approach could be coming from the Pens tonight and although I’m leaning on Erik Karlsson Over 2.5 shots at even money, there's another way to find value in this scenario.

Chris Tanev was just dealt and there's a small chance Noah Hanafin could be a late scratch. Either way, the remaining blue liners for the Calgary Flames should see a bump in minutes tonight, and facing possibly more shot attempts, the blocked shot market is ripe for the picking. 

I took advantage of this market last night in Anaheim who traded away Ilya Lyubushikin. Radko Gudas played more minutes and finished with five blocked shots with a 2.5 total that paid +105 for the Over. So, who's the best target in Calgary?

The options are MacKenzie Weegar (2.5) and Rasmus Andersson (1.5). Weegar is blocking 6.47 shots/60 compared to Andersson’s 5.79. This is priced in, but what might not be is Weegar’s increase in ice time. 

Weegar played two more minutes than his 22:03 average ice time last game with Tanev in the lineup which could be a good indication of his ice time tonight. He's paying +120 to block 3+ shots and is averaging 2.4 per game on the season. 

Facing a desperate team that might be shooting a ton and getting more minutes, this looks like a great play, especially with him playing on the first penalty kill unit as well. 

My best bet: MacKenzie Weegar Over 2.5 blocked shots (+120 at SIA)

Penguins vs Flames same-game parlay

Flames -1.5

Over 5.5

Flames to score the last goal

The Flames have been one of the most undervalued teams since the All-Star break, winning over 5.3 units in straight betting across its last 10 games. The pressure is on in Pittsburgh as one more loss could turn the front office into sellers. It's pressure Calgary's been dealing with for a while now and is playing its best hockey possibly out of spite. 

The issues with Calgary's blue line could create a more open game tonight but if this game is going to be won by an offense, that has to be an edge for the Flames who have much better scoring depth right now. Give me an empty-net 5-2 Calgary win to cash this +400 SGP. 

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Penguins vs Flames moneyline and Over/Under analysis

SIA opened the Flames as a -130 home favorite but some Pittsburgh money has moved that to Calgary -125 with a total of 6 that is taking some Over money.

It’s a wild time in the NHL right now with the trade deadline coming next week. I’ve seen teams late-scratch players and there's a chance of that tonight in Calgary with a pair of teams seven points out of the playoffs. Calgary has already shipped off three players to date including 20-minute defenseman Chris Tanev to Dallas yesterday.  

Calgary is riding a four-game winning streak and is 8-3 SU over its last 11 games, but they just lost a D-man, and more trades could be on the way. It does seem like the Penguins are under more pressure as they've not yet committed to sell but one more loss might make that decision for them. 

The Flames have faced the trade pressure for a longer time and have actually been a better team of late compared to the earlier part of the season. 

Pittsburgh is coming off a 2-0 loss and is still down two of its top-line wingers in Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel. Sidney Crosby is only one man and can only do so much. The Pens also have to turn around and head to Edmonton following tonight’s game to conclude their four-game West Coast road trip.

Calgary comes into this game with much more scoring depth than Pittsburgh as the Flames are rolling three solid lines currently. There might be some issues on the blue line considering the missing pieces which could lead to more goals overall. The money coming in on Pittsburgh is likely related to the Tanev trade. 

These are two even teams but the pressure seems to be mounting for Pittsburgh who is in need of a win after a shutout loss. That's a tough spot to be in against a goalie in Jacob Markstrom who is 7-2 SU in his last nine games with a very good .937 SV%.

This game could be a little slow out of the gates as the Flames are retiring former goalie Miikka Kiprusoff’s number so there will be a delay. It’s not a bad spot to hit the no goal in the first 10 minutes prop. 

Penguins vs Flames betting trend to know

The Penguins have only cashed the moneyline in 37 of their last 79 games (-23.25 units / -19% ROI). Find more NHL betting trends for Penguins vs. Flames.

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Penguins vs Flames game info

Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2024
Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet PT, CBC

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