Two teams probably happy to see October go in the books meet on Tuesday night in Calgary when Vancouver visits the Flames in the first matchup of the season between the Northwast Division rivals. Vancouver opened as a -125 favorite on Bodog’s NHL odds – the only road favorite of the night in hockey action.
Vancouver is a very disappointing 5-5-1 but does come off a great outing, thumping Washington, arguably the league’s top team so far, 7-4 on Saturday. Alexander Edler, Christopher Higgins and Maxim Lapierre each scored two goals for the Canucks. It was the first time that Vancouver had three different multiple-goal scorers in one game since Feb. 25, 2003. The Canucks scored five even-strength goals against a Caps team that had surrendered only 10 of those all month.
Still, there remains concern over goalie Roberto Luongo, who will start tonight. He has a goals-against-average of 3.54, which is 35th in the NHL. By contrast, backup Cory Schneider is at 1.97.
Calgary (4-4-1) has been off since beating St. Louis 3-1 on Friday for its second win in a row. Rookie Roman Horak is making a big impression and had a goal and an assist vs. the Blues for his second consecutive two-point game. Horak is five years younger than the second-youngest player on the active roster, 25-year-old defenseman Chris Butler. However, star Jarome Iginla is struggling. So far, the franchise’s all-time leader in every offensive category has managed just two goals and two assists, along with a minus-3 rating.
Vancouver won five of six meetings with Calgary last season, and the Flames’ only win came in a shootout. This starts a six-game, 12-day trip for Vancouver. Calgary is just 1-5 in its past six as a home underdog.
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