NHL 03/12-04/12/21: Anaheim Ducks pit wits against Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers meet St. Louis Blues
The NHL is never short on drama. The games keep coming in thick and fast, and there are some big fixtures to look forward to this weekend. In this preview, we will give our thoughts on three matchups, including Anaheim Ducks v Calgary Flames on Friday, and Florida Panthers v St. Louis Blues on Saturday. We will also divulge the latest match odds.
Calgary Flames nick thrilling penalty shoot-out win over Pittsburgh Penguins
The Flames have been blazing a trail at the top of the Pacific Division. There have been some superb performances of late, and a 2-1 shootout victory over the Penguins earlier this week took their record to 13-4-5 from 22 games played. In overtime, the Flames blew some opportunities to kill the game off, including Johnny Gaudreau’s effort that shattered the crossbar.
Mikael Backlund, however, showed nerves of steel, as he scored the deciding goal in the seventh round of a suspenseful penalty shoot-out. His previous record in shoot-outs was 0-for-7. However, when asked for his thoughts after the game, Backlund was rather candid, as he said: “I wasn’t expecting to get picked really. When I heard my name, I got excited.”
Calgary Flames strike upon a different way to achieve success
As we have seen over the past few weeks, there is more than one way to win in the NHL. The Flames have been great at penalty killing, but they have also been good at protecting the middle ice well. And they have also outscored the opposition’s power play 15-8. This will give the Ducks serious food for thought.
Anaheim Ducks looking to keep in touch in Pacific Division
At times, the Ducks have been wayward this season. But a captivating 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings earlier this week sees them in third spot in the Pacific Division, and just four points behind the Flames. This feels like a high stakes match, and the Ducks will leave everything out on the ice.
Florida Panthers pull off stunning victory over the Washington Capitals
The Panthers looked to be on the brink of defeat against the Capitals. For 40 minutes, the Capitals were on top, and they were 4-1 up. But things can change very quickly in NHL. And the Panthers, who were looking to avoid a third straight defeat, came storming back. In the third quarter, they stormed back, scoring four unanswered goals to cap a remarkable turnaround.
Florida Panthers confirm new deal for Ryan Lomberg
Away from the ice, there was some good news for Panthers fans over the past week. Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg put pen to paper on a new two-year contract extension, which will see him tied down to the franchise until the end of the 2023/24 season.
And Panthers general manager Bill Zito is delighted Lomberg committed his future to the franchise. He said: “Ryan has brought physicality and contagious energy to our lineup.” In the 10 games he has played this season, Lomberg has contributed three points, and he has made 44 regular-season appearances since the start of the last campaign.
While the Panthers are on a bit of a high, the Blues are no slouches. At the time of writing, they sit second in the Central Division with a 12-7-3 record, and they have amassed 27 points. The 4-3 victory over reigning Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning will have been warmly welcomed.
Jake DeBrusk hands in Boston Bruins trade request to send rumors into overdrive
The wheels have started to fall off for the Bruins in recent weeks. And when you throw into the mix that Jake DeBrusk has handed in a transfer request, it only seems to have compounded problems. DeBrusk has managed only three goals in 18 appearances this season, and he supposedly demanded to leave the club over the summer.
It seems his heart isn’t in it with the Bruins at the moment. But the Bruins don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves, as they face Lightning, who will have been licking their wounds after their defeat to the Blues. However, they will have taken away a few valuable lessons from that loss, and we should expect them to bounce back strongly.
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