Calgary at Los Angeles -200 O/U 5.5
My clients and I have cashed a multitude of over-the-total winners involving the Calgary Flames since the All-Star break and that is a trend worth riding tonight as they head west to face the Los Angeles Kings. Calgary is struggling defensively and goalie Jonas Hiller has not been able to hold up since taking over the starting role for injured Karri Ramo. Hiller has allowed 22 goals over his last five starts in net. Flames defenseman Kris Russell is not a household name but he might be one of the more unsung injuries in the league. Russell is a plus defensive player in his own zone, a shot blocking machine, and also a very strong penalty killer. Calgary has allowed 18 goals to Anaheim (twice), Minnesota and Vancouver in its last four games without Russell on the ice as the penalty kill was ripped apart. He is likely to once again be out of the lineup for tonight's game. The Flames also have the suspension to Dennis Wideman in effect and they've lost another blue liner as Ladislav Smid went down with an injury in the loss to Minnesota and he has been placed on IR. That is bad news for an already struggling defensive unit which now has to rely on Deryk Engelland and a lot of youth and inexperience to eat up more minutes and responsibility. Los Angeles isn’t an offensive machine nor does it push the pace but even the Kings are capable of denting this very shaky Calgary defense and goaltending right now. On the flip side, Los Angeles returns home from a 7-game road trip and I could see the Kings maybe being a bit lackadaisical on the defensive end of the ice after playing a very tough slate of opponents on their recent road trip. LA did start playing a bit looser defensively on home ice prior to their road trip and enter this contest on a 4-2 run to the over in their last six home games. Over 5.5 at a solid plus price is worthy of a wager.