Vegas Golden Knights vs. Calgary Flames Pick & Prediction MARCH 23rd 2023

Stadium: Scotiabank Saddledome Calgary
Logo Vegas Golden Knights
Logo Calgary Flames

6.5o -100
-1.5 +175



Jonathan Quick continues to climb the charts among the NHL's greatest goaltenders. The Vegas Golden Knights continue in their quest to claim top spot in the Western Conference.

The Golden Knights (44-21-6, 94 points) head into Thursday's road game against the Calgary Flames holding a two-point edge on the Los Angeles Kings, Quick's former team, in the battle for the top spot in both the conference and the Pacific Division.

Vegas, which missed the playoffs last season, has won six of seven games, the latest being Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Quick stopped 32 shots and collected his 375th career regular-season victory, putting him second to Ryan Miller (391) for most wins among U.S.-born goaltenders.

Quick has won five of six games since being acquired by the Golden Knights from the Columbus Blue Jackets shortly after he was dealt there by the Kings.

"The way it finished up in L.A. wasn't ideal," Quick said. "It's a fresh start here hockey-wise. Playing some important games here down the stretch and trying to help them win the division and secure a playoff spot, it's fun."

Vegas has a plethora of top players contributing, the hottest being forward Reilly Smith, who has collected four goals and 11 points in a franchise record-tying nine-game point streak. However, the Knights' supporting cast is making its mark, too. The top line was held off the scoresheet in Vancouver, but the other three lines lit the lamp.

"When different guys are contributing, everyone is feeling good about themselves, and that obviously leads to them playing better," said fourth-line center Teddy Blueger, who notched his fourth goal of the season.

The Flames, who won a 7-2 meeting in Vegas last week and have a 2-0-1 mark against the Golden Knights this season, return home after a decisive 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Calgary (32-25-15, 79 points), is four points out of a playoff spot with 10 games remaining and desperately needing a miracle run. Rebounding from a humiliating 8-2 loss to the Kings the night before with a complete-game win over the Ducks was a step in the right direction.

"We talked about it. Having two bad starts in a row, we had to be better," center Mikael Backlund said. "Scoring right away always helps, it gives energy to the group."

Amid the struggles, the Flames have players who are putting out their best hockey at the right time. Forward Tyler Toffoli equaled a career-high with three assists in Anaheim and has netted nine points in a four-game point streak, while defenseman Noah Hanifin has collected six points in a six-game run (two goals, four assists).

Those achievements are secondary for a team that must go on a mammoth winning streak. Calgary, which has seven of its final 10 games at home, has not won more than three straight games during a disappointing season. And that feat has only been reached twice.

"You've got to go a game at a time," coach Darryl Sutter said. "Because if you don't, then there's literally guys in here that were pulling the plug. It's really simple. You just want to keep every game meaningful."

There was no word on Wednesday whether defenseman Chris Tanev will be back in action after missing the Anaheim game due to a lower-body injury.

--Field Level Media

Vegas Golden Knights
Calgary Flames

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Calgary Flames Recap MAR 23TH 2023

Jonathan Marchessault and Michael Amadio scored first period goals and the visiting Vegas Golden Knights held on for a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

Nicolas Roy also scored for the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights (45-21-6, 96 points), who have won three straight games and seven of eight outings.

Starting goaltender Logan Thompson made 37 saves in his return to action after missing 18 games due to injury, but left with 6:07 left in regulation. In relief, Jonathan Quick stopped all five shots he faced, his biggest on MacKenzie Weegar in the final minute.

Milan Lucic and Nazem Kadri replied for the Flames (32-26-15, 79 points), whose playoff hopes took another big hit. Goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 29 shots.

Marchessault's 23rd goal of the season opened the scoring past the midway point of the opening frame when he wisely elected to shoot on a two-on-one rush.

Almadio doubled the Vegas lead at the 15:23 mark with another rush up ice. A long pass while the Flames were on a sloppy change resulted in a breakaway that ended when Amadio, whose first shot was blocked, converted the rebound for his 12th of the season.

Lucic finally provided a boost for the hosts when he netted his sixth of the season with 58 seconds left in the opening frame, converting a cross-ice pass from Walker Duehr on a two-on-one rush.

Roy, who returned after missing 14 games due to injury, restored the two-goal edge 5:19 into the third period. After stripping a defender of the puck, Roy completed a give-and-go for his 12th of the season.

Kadri's power-play goal to snap a 16-game goal drought breathed new life into the Flames with 7:27 left in regulation. Kadri unloaded with an open chance, notching his 22nd of the season.

However, the Flames could not find the equalizer in their frantic push and are now 0-18-3 when trailing after two periods.

--Field Level Media