NHL Betting Guide: Friday 4/23/21

Saturday is typically the busiest night of the week in the NHL, and that's no different this week. But Saturday's 11-game schedule is sandwiched between two quiet nights; four games are scheduled for Sunday and five scheduled for tonight. There's still betting value on the board, though, and we're going back to the well with a pick we missed yesterday.

Here are the plays from our daily projections.

Calgary Flames vs. Montreal Canadiens

Over 5.5 (-104): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

Our first play in today's betting guide comes from a North Division matchup between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens. We're expecting improved offensive output, which should help this one go over the total.

The Flames have put forth some impressive offensive efforts recently. Across all strengths, the Flames have posted double-digit high-danger chances in five of their last six and are averaging 11.7 attempts per game. Scoring chances and shots have also been more abundant, coming in at 30.3 and 30.0, respectively. However, output has fallen off the last couple of games, with Calgary scoring a combined three goals over their last two. Sustained production should lead to increased output, and that's what we're expecting against the Habs tonight.

Montreal is without Carey Price and is on the first night of a back-to-back. We've seen the Habs start Jake Allen on both nights of a back-to-back with Price out, but that has come at the cost of his metrics. Allen allowed six goals on 58 shots in two games of a back-to-back at the start of the month, dropping both decisions. His save percentage is sliding over his last couple of games, as well, stopping only 88.7% of shots.

The Habs are also coming out of a mini-slump. They had a four-game period in which they averaged 7.3 high-danger chances and 21.8 scoring opportunities across all strengths. The 29 scoring chances and 13 high-danger attempts they put up against the Edmonton Oilers last time out should be a sign for what's to come, as they work their way back up towards average.

We should expect this game to have more than 5.5 goals.That aligns with our model, which projects an advantage in backing the over. We rate it as a one-star play.

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Rangers moneyline (-164): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

It was unusual to see, but goaltending kept the Philadelphia Flyers competitive for the third time in four games. The Flyers rode Brian Elliott's 96.2% save percentage at five-on-five to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers last night. But based on our projections, we should expect a different outcome tonight.

At five-on-five, the Flyers were out-possessed, out-shot, and out-chanced in scoring and high-danger chances. It was the third time in four games in which they were dominated from a metrics perspective and their second victory in that four-game span.

The second night of a back-to-back hasn't been a good spot for the Flyers over the last couple of months. They have just one win in their last six such games, giving up an average of 3.3 goals per night and stopping only 88.2% of shots.

The Rangers have improved their high-danger chances in four straight games, going from seven opportunities against the New Jersey Devils on April 17th to 13 against the Flyers last night. However, their goal-scoring has gone in the opposite direction, dropping from 11 combined goals in the first two games to three goals over the last two. The Blue Shirts have been an offensive threat all season and should find a way to score more goals, considering they are increasing their production metrics.

Scoring could come a little easier today against Alex Lyon. Lyon has played 18 games across four seasons, stopping only 89.1% of shots.

The Rangers are at risk of losing three-straight for the first time since early March. But based on our projections, they should get back in the win column against a Flyers team that has struggled on the second night of a back-to-back and is starting a third-string goalie. Taking the Rangers on the moneyline is a four-star play, per our algorithm.