The Calgary Flames finished with the second-best record in the Western Conference and are rewarded by playing the Dallas Stars who finished seventh in the conference and are the only team in the playoffs who finished with a negative goal differential in the regular season.
Can Darryl Sutter and the Flames make some noise this postseason and dust off the Stars early? Can the Stars make this series competitive despite being +280 to win four games and +180 to win Game 1? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Stars vs. Flames.
Stars vs Flames odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Flames opened at -225 on the moneyline and have since moved five points to -220. The total opened at 6, hit 5.5 at most books on Tuesday morning and is straddling 5.5 and 6. These two teams have met three times this year with Calgary closing as -224 favorites back on April 24th in a 4-2 victory that saw a closing total of 6.
Stars vs Flames predictions
- Prediction: Flames 3-way ML (-130)
- Prediction: Under 6 (-120)
- Best bet: Oettinger Over 28.5 saves (-126)
Predictions made on 5/03/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
If you’re signing up for a new sportsbook for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users can bet $20 and get $200 in free bets with Caesars! Sign Up Now
B) New users can get two risk-free bets up to $2,000 at PointsBet! Claim Now
*Eligible USA locations only
Stars vs Flames game info
• Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB
• Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
• Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2, Sportsnet
Stars vs Flames series odds (Series tied 0-0)
Stars vs Flames betting preview
Stars: John Klinberg D (Probable), Braden Holtby G (Out).
Flames: Trevor Lewis F (Out), Sean Monahan F (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Stars vs Flames head-to-head record since 2019-20
Stars: 5-5 SU, .31 goals for.
Flames: 5-5 SU, 33 goals for.
Betting trend to know
Since February 1, no team in hockey has won more games at home than the Flames with an 18-5-3 mark. Find more NHL betting trends for Stars vs. Flames.
Stars vs Flames picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
There is a case to be made that the Dallas Stars are the worst of the 16 playoff teams. They finished with the No. 15 point percentage and are the only playoff team that averaged more goals against per game than goals for. Dallas struggled on the road all season and finished 19-22 SU away from home with a minus-28 goal differential over those 41 road games.
The Stars do have some playoff experience, as they made the 2020 Finals before losing to the Lightning in six games. They also knocked out the Flames in the first round that year, but both of these teams have gone in different directions since then.
Darryl Sutter took over bench duties last season and is 66-37-12 as the head coach of the Flames. He has two Stanley Cup rings to his name and has accumulated 170 playoff wins. The Flames have responded to his old-school coaching methods and have the best point percentage in hockey since February 1 at 29-8-5 with an incredible plus-1.28 goal differential per game. Calgary has a big advantage in talent, but also behind the bench.
Another huge advantage the home side has is between the pipes. Jacob Markstrom should finish in the Top 3 for Vezina considerations after leading the league in shutouts (nine), finishing fourth in SV% (.922), third in GAA (2.22), and fourth in wins (37). Sutter also didn’t ride him hard down the stretch so the No. 1 netminder is coming in fresh. Markstrom lost just eight games in regulation over 38 home contests this season.
The Stars are heavily reliant on their top line for offensive production but getting the last change should help Sutter minimize the impact of the Robertson-Pavelski-Hintz line. Looking at the other side, no line was hotter down the stretch than the Gaudreau-Lindholm-Tkachuk line for the Flames with all three skaters finishing the season with 40+ goals. Calgary is loaded with playoff-types in its bottom six as well and has the edge in special teams with a Top-10 power play and penalty kill.
The Stars have confirmed that Jake Oettinger will be the Game 1 starter in net. Oettinger has never started an NHL playoff game and posted a GAA of 2.67 with a .906 SV% over his last 18 starts.
The Dallas goalie will have to face a Calgary offense that led the league in goal percentage at 5-on-5 and finished in the Top 5 in Fenwick, Corsi, and goal for at even strength on the season. Over their last 43 games, the Flames are also scoring 3.93 goals per game, the fourth-best mark in hockey.
Dallas will have a better time at home getting the matchups they want but will likely continue to struggle on the road tonight versus a motivated Sutter team that has been elite down the stretch. Give us the Flames in regulation.
Prediction: Flames 3-way moneyline (-130 at bet365)
The Calgary offense comes in hot but we aren’t so sure the Stars can score two or more goals at the Scotiabank Saddledome vs. this Calgary defense.
The Flames’ 2.39 GAA at home was the lowest mark in the Western Conference this season. They allowed the fewest 5-on-5 goals and boasted the best home PK in the West. Markstrom is rested and ready to shut down a Dallas offense that finished 29th in 5-on-5 goals scored on the season.
Offensively at even strength, the Stars were awful this season. They finished in 19th or worse in goal percentage, Fenwick, Corsi, and goal differential. This is a team that allowed the 13th-fewest goals and scored the fourth-fewest goals at 5-on-5. If the referees decide to put the whistles away, this could be a very one-sided game at even strength.
On top of that, the league’s No. 29 road offense has to beat Markstrom who comes into tonight’s series opener with a 2.17 GAA at home and has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his last 12 games. He held the Stars to just two goals on 23 shots in the last meeting two weeks ago.
Calgary could certainly dominate possession here as well. It’s a Top-3 team in Corsi and Fenwick at even strength and faces a Dallas team that has the worst 5-on-5 possession and shot attempt metrics of all 16 playoff teams.
At 35-44 O/U on the season, Dallas was tied with the best Under record in hockey. It makes a ton of sense: they don’t score at 5-on-5, they don’t allow a ton of 5-on-5 goals and their special teams sit outside the Top 10. We’re expecting a very one-sided game here with Dallas struggling to hit the two-goal mark.
We’re taking advantage of the market’s inconsistencies with this total and hitting the Under 6 in a game we’re expecting to be dominated by the home side.
Prediction: Under 6 (-120 at bet365)
Jake Oettinger could be a busy tender in Game 1. The Flames averaged 38.5 shots per game over the last two meetings and the Stars have not been very shot-suppressive on the road this year. On the season, Dallas is allowing an average of 33 shots per game on the road which ranks in the Bottom 12 in the league.
Oettinger has seen at least 31 shots in six of his last eight games versus playoff teams and faces the Flames’ offense that averages 35.3 shots per game on home ice. With how we project the Flames to dominate possession, he could be seeing a ton of rubber and we’re hopping on his Over 28.5 saves at -126.
The Flames have had at least 31 shots on net in nine of their last 10 games heading into tonight.
Pick: Oettinger Over 28.5 saves (-126 at FanDuel)