Calgary Flames vs. Boston Bruins Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds -- 11/21/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Where to watch: NESN, SNW, SNE, SN360, ESPN+

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Bruins -165, Flames +145
BetMGM: Bruins -167, Flames +140
Caesars: Bruins -169, Flames +140

Season record
Flames: 10-3-5
Bruins: 9-5-0

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Flames - Bruins preview and analysis


Recent form
Flames: 4-2-4 in last 10; won 5-2 at Islanders on Saturday
Bruins: 6-4-0 in last 10; won 5-2 at Flyers on Saturday

It’s a battle of streaks on Sunday in Boston when the Boston Bruins will look to win their fourth in a row against the Calgary Flames putting their five-game point streak on the line.

Both clubs are coming off games on Saturday, both comfortable victories on the road. The Flames dominated from start to finish to win 5-2 against the New York Islanders in the debut of UBS Arena. Defenseman Noah Hanifin had three assists, and Andrew Mangiapane continued his torrid start with goals No. 13 and 14 to pace the scoring.

Johnny Gaudreau added an empty-net goal and an assists to give him six points in his past three games.

"It was a great atmosphere, it was pretty cool to kind of play in," Mangiapane said. "You could just feel the energy just as soon as you kind of went out there the first time. Even before warmups, you saw all the fans. It was fun to play in, and I think we just kind of almost fed off that energy."

Calgary has been one of the early-season surprises with a lot of pressure and turning up the … heat within the organization. Calgary is off to a 10-3-5 start and only one point behind the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division. While Edmonton has a game in hand, the Flames weren’t expected to be on this kind of run to begin the season.

Two things have contributed to that: Mangiapane’s breakout start, and quality goaltending. Calgary has gotten great play from both Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar to begin the season; Markstrom is coming off a 34-save performance against the Islanders. Vladar is expected to get the nod against his former team, the organization that took him in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Mangiapane is second in the NHL with 14 goals and 13 of them have come on the road.

"I'm playing with good players (Blake Coleman and Mikael Backlund). They're finding me the puck right now," Mangiapane said. "I'm just happening to put them home. … I think we played a solid game tonight, and we're going to need more of that tomorrow."

While the Flames have shocked many, the Bruins have come out slow but seem to be hitting a stride at the right time. The Bruins have won three straight and appear to be breaking out of that start that saw them at 5-5-0 through 10 games.

The Bruins got two goals from Derek Forbort and two-point games from David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk in their 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. Linus Ullmark made 29 saves on 31 shots for his first win in four starts between the pipes. Boston has won their its last three games all by a 5-2 score; last Saturday against the New Jersey Devils and the following night against the Montreal Canadiens.

"[Coach Bruce Cassidy] does a good job of talking to us about being smart about when to kind of jump in, kind of spacing with the forwards up top," Forbort said. "When there's time to be aggressive and make a play, they want you to do that up top."

The Bruins are playing their third of 12 back-to-backs this season and are 1-1-0 in the second half of those sets. Calgary, meanwhile, is 1-0-1 on those sets.

Prediction


Normally, this would be an easy play on the home team. Boston is coming back home, riding high, and should benefit after the way they’ve been dominating recent opponents. But the Flames have gotten accustomed to playing Eastern Conference hockey; they’re 10-1-2 against Eastern teams this season and are 3-1-1 against Atlantic Division clubs. Tack on the way Mangiapane dominates a game on the road, Calgary is in a good place right now. And don’t underestimate Vladar facing his former team; something tells me he wants out for revenge. Flames win 3-2

Betting trends


The under is 5-0 in the Flames’ last five when the opponent allows two goals or less in the previous game.

The over has cashed in the Bruins’ last four games.

The favorite has won six of the last seven meetings.

The Flames have lost five of the last seven meetings.

Projected lines


Flames:

Johnny Gaudreau -- Elias Lindholm -- Matthew Tkachuk

Blake Coleman -- Mikael Backlund -- Andrew Mangiapane

Dillon Dube -- Sean Monahan -- Tyler Pitlick

Milan Lucic -- Brad Richardson -- Trevor Lewis

Noah Hanifin -- Rasmus Andersson

Oliver Kylington -- Christopher Tanev

Nikita Zadorov -- Erik Gudbranson

Dan Vladar

Bruins:

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall -- Charlie Coyle -- Nick Foligno

Jake DeBrusk -- Erik Haula -- Craig Smith

Anton Blidh -- Tomas Nosek -- Curtis Lazar

Derek Forbort -- Charlie McAvoy

Matt Grzelcyk -- Brandon Carlo

Mike Reilly -- Jakub Zboril

Jeremy Swayman

Statistical leaders


Flames:
Points: Johnny Gaudreau -- 21
Goals: Andrew Mangiapane-- 14
Assists: Johnny Gaudreau -- 14
TOI: Rasmus Andersson -- 22:37
Goalie: Jacob Markstrom -- 7-3-4, 1.71 GAA, .942 SV%

Bruins:
Points: Brad Marchand -- 20
Goals: Brad Marchand -- 8
Assists: Brad Marchand -- 12
TOI: Charlie McAvoy -- 23:52
Goalie: Jeremy Swayman -- 5-2-0, 2.16 GAA, .914 SV%

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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