The Calgary Flames scored in the first five minutes of Game 1 in their series with the Dallas Stars and that was all Darryl Sutter’s team needed as the defense and Jacob Markstrom did the rest from there in the 1-0 win.
Can the Stars generate some offense in Game 2 despite being the worst offensive team of the 16 playoff squads? Can the Flames continue to eliminate Dallas' top line the Stars are so reliant on? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Stars vs. Flames.
Stars vs Flames odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Flames opened as -235 ML favorites, touched -245, and have been bet back down to -235. The total opened at 5.5 after opening at 6 for Game 1. Calgary closed as -230 ML favorites in the opener.
Stars vs Flames predictions
- Prediction: Flames 3-way ML (-135)
- Prediction: Under 5.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Robertson Under 0.5 pts (+102)
Predictions made on 5/05/2022 at 1:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Stars vs Flames game info
• Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta
• Date: Thursday, May 5, 2022
• Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TBS, Sportsnet
Stars vs Flames series odds (CAL leads 1-0)
Stars vs Flames betting preview
Stars: Braden Holtby G (Out).
Flames: Sean Monahan F (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Stars vs Flames head-to-head record since 2019-20
Stars: 6-7 SU, 36 goals for.
Flames: 7-6 SU, 38 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 5-1-1 in the Flames’ last seven playoff games as a favorite. Find more NHL betting trends for Stars vs. Flames.
Stars vs Flames picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Dallas Stars entered the playoffs with the worst offense among the 16 postseason teams and looked the part in Game 1’s 1-0 loss to the Flames. Dallas managed to generate zero offense on Tuesday (0.9 expected goals) and we aren’t high on them changing that trend in Game 2.
Dallas finished the regular season with the No. 21 offense in goals per game (2.84) and was even worse at even strength, scoring the fourth-fewest goals across 82 games. Now they’re coming off a shutout, facing a team that allowed the fewest goals per game at home in the Western Conference, trying to beat a goalie who led the league in shutouts and looking to outsmart a coach who knows a thing or two about playoff hockey and locking things down.
Darryl Sutter has coached in 179 playoff games, has won more games than he’s lost, and won two Cups with the Kings. He has instilled a playoff mentality with this group in Calgary and the team has bought into the old-school system.
In Game 1’s win, the Flames offense turned into defense after scoring the opening goal as the team had just 16 shots over the game’s final 50 minutes. They suffocated the Stars’ top line, which finished with an xGoals, Fenwick, and Corsi% below 48%.
40-goal scorer Jason Robertson had just one shot on net while the Robertson-Pavleski-Hintz line managed to get just two pucks on the net with eight total shot attempts at even strength. If Dallas has to rely on its bottom nine for scoring, it's going to struggle to top its team total tonight, which is paying -160 to the Under 2.5.
If the defensive system doesn’t slow down the visitors, Jacob Markstrom likely will. The Vezina candidate stopped just 16 shots in the opener to record his 10th shutout of the season. Dallas managed just nine total scoring chances and three high-danger chances in the shutout loss. There is an argument to be made that Markstrom is the best goalie in the Western Conference as he finished in the Top-4 in GAA, SV%, and wins.
Dallas did play most of Game 1 without puck-moving defenseman John Klingberg who got the gate after the first period but even his presence isn’t enough to sway us on the underdog tonight. This is just a bad matchup for the Stars, who struggle to score goals and face one of the best defensive teams on home ice in the Flames.
The line hasn’t moved much from Game 1 to Game 2 as the Flames closed as -235 favorites in the opener. With Calgary’s ability to eliminate the Stars’ top line and having the necessary firepower on their own top line to score enough to win, we’re backing the favorites here in regulation as Game 1’s victory was just too impressive to overlook.
Prediction: Flames 3-way moneyline (-135 at bet365)
After a 1-0 game in the opener, tonight’s total opened at 5.5 after opening at 6 on Tuesday. But with how disinterested Calgary was at padding its early lead, we’re not biting on the Over 5.5.
MoneyPuck shows Game 1 having a total of 2.11 xGoals, which was the lowest mark out of all eight Game 1s. Neither goalie was particularly busy and Natural Stat Trick has just six total high-danger chances for the entire game. Scoring opportunities were at a premium on Tuesday and we’re sure Sutter will want to keep it that way while the Stars lack enough scoring depth to change the script.
Dallas tied for the second-best Under record in hockey this season with a 34-44-4 O/U mark. This is a team that finished in the bottom-third in scoring but also finished in the top half in goals allowed. The Stars ranked in the Top 10 in expected goals against at 5-on-5 and in the Bottom 10 in goals scored at even strength.
Calgary might have one of the best lines in hockey with the Gaudreau-Lindholm-Tkachuk line, but after that, this is a bottom-nine that is filled with more role-player types than top-scoring talent. Sutter also has split up the top line on the power play and instead roles with two balanced units as opposed to a loaded-talent one. Calgary went 1-for-5 with the man advantage in the opener and finished the last two months of the regular season with the league’s No. 15 power play.
Not lost on us was Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger, who stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced. The young goalie proved he has some playoff nerves as he kept his team in the game after allowing an early goal in a loud barn in Calgary. He has allowed two or fewer goals in four straight starts and can certainly carry this Under 5.5 as well.
It looks like the Flames are comfortable playing with short leads and their lack of offensive drive after getting the early lead would have us terrified if we were holding an Over 5.5 ticket.
Getting shut out in back-to-back games is a low-probability occurrence but if there is one matchup on the board in Round 1, it’s this series. Fading the Dallas offense is recommended and succeeding versus Sutter and Markstrom in Game 2 is not something we’re willing to gamble on, especially with Calgary getting the last change and dictating the on-ice matchups. We’re also starting to see some books hitting -120 for the Under 5.5.
Prediction: Under 5.5 (-110 at bet365)
It’s not often we dig into the Under point market, but today looks like a great day to take a hard look at it.
Jason Robertson finished with an impressive 41 goals during the regular season and 79 total points with nearly a quarter of those coming on the power play. The young forward is a flat-out stud but getting your first taste of playoff hockey against Sutter and the Flames is a different bag of tricks.
There is very little open ice in the postseason and the game seems much faster. This is not an easy thing to adjust to for a young player who played his first NHL playoff game Tuesday. Robertson finished with just one shot on net and his line managed just two total at 5-on-5. The winger had the team’s 10th-best xGoals mark and will now have to adjust his game to create more scoring chances tonight.
And we’re betting against that.
With Calgary getting the last change, Sutter can have his way with the Stars’ top line. Dallas showed next to no offense at even strength with 0.81 xGoals. It might take Robertson a few games to make those necessary adjustments and we’re getting plus money that is kept off the scoresheet again tonight.
Pick: Robertson Under 0.5 points (+102)