NHL Best Bets: Flames at Canucks Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions for April 16th

NHL Best Bets: Flames at Canucks Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions for April 16th

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

NHL Bets Today: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Flames at Canucks

The Calgary Flames (37-38-5) travel to meet the Vancouver Canucks (49-22-9) on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. in the penultimate regular-season game for both sides. Puck drop is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET, and the game be viewed or streamed on ESPN+ and hulu platforms.

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The Flames are out of the playoff hunt with nothing left but pride on the line. However, the Canucks are three points clear of the Edmonton Oilers for the first place in the Pacific Division with two games remaining. A win, and Vancouver secures its first division title since the 2012-13 season when they claimed five consecutive Northwest Division titles with the Sedin Twins, etc.

If a looming division title wasn't good enough news for Vancouver and its fans, it also gets a boost with the return of All-Star Thatcher Demko. He has been sidelined since March 9 due to a lower-body injury suffered against the Winnipeg Jets, but he has been practicing, and gets the call in between the pipes, as he tries to shake off the rust and build momentum into the postseason.

Demko (34-13-2, 2.47 GAA, .917 SV%, 5 SO) was stellar before his LBI, and he gives this team a huge shot in the arm if he can return to form. The Canucks were 7-5-2 in his 14-game absence.

Jacob Markstrom (23-22-2, 2.75 GAA, .906 SV%, 2 SO) will all but likely get the nod for the Flames, as he faces his former organization. Markstrom has been a train wreck in April, though, coughing up three or more goals in each of his three starts, going 0-3-0 with a 3.69 GAA and .869 SV%.

Calgary has been playing to the finish, though, not waving the white flag despite being eliminated from the playoffs. It has 3-1-0 across the past four games, although all three of the victories are against teams also eliminated from the postseason. Their lone loss in the span was a 4-1 setback against the Los Angeles Kings, a playoff team.

These teams met in Vancouver on March 23, with the Canucks winning 4-2, as Casey DeSmith outdueled Markstrom, with Nils Hoglander potting two goals, J.T. Miller notching a power-play goal and Elias Lindholm posting the empty-net marker.

Expect more of the same from the Canucks, as they get the job done on the puck line as a home favorite, touching off a division title celebration in process.

NHL Money Line Bets for Flames at Canucks

  • Canucks PL (-1.5, +114 at DraftKings)

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Looking to the total, things could get interesting. The Over has cashed in each of the past two games for the Flames with Dustin Wolf in net. He has allowed eight goals in the span. For Markstrom, the Over is 6-3-2 in his past 11 appearances, so if he is indeed the starter, look for goals aplenty in what could be his final showing of the season.

With Demko, he is a bit of a wild card. He was absolutely sensational prior to his injury, but he returns after a layoff of several weeks. Will he be automatically tracking pucks like he did previous to his ailment? Is his cardio there, or will he be a little slow with some rust to shake off?

It's likely there is a bit of rough patch to start for Demko, even against a team with nothing to play for. And whether it's Markstrom or Wolf in between the pipes for Calgary, it has been very giving lately. Lean high.

NHL Totals Bets for Flames at Canucks

  • Over 6 (-120 at Caesars)

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NHL Players Props for Flames at Canucks

With a higher-scoring game expected in the Pacific Northwest, we have one red-hot player for the Calgary Flames to consider. However, on the home side, you can expect Demko to be tested early and often, so we'll look to his save total for the other prop.

For the visiting side, Andrei Kuzmenko has been playing tremendous hockey for the Flames. He has racked up nine goals with 16 points in the past nine games, while notching nine power-play points in the process. For a chance to triple up, Kuzmenko is a fabulous value.

As far as the home side is concerned, Calgary is likely to test Demko early to see where is at physically. He has been sidelined for five weeks, so it remains to be seen if he is in top shape, or if there will be a slow return to the crease in the final two regular-season games. Playing Over 25.5 on his saves is a great play, as the Flames should pepper him early, looking to take advantage before he is able to settle in.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Dobish
Hockey writer, unskilled fourth liner, fantasy and gambling industry veteran, handicapper, FSWA's 2011 fantasy hockey writer of the year nominee and four-time FSWA award winner. Twitter: @danieledobish
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