The chalk is steep, but the Flames have to be one off your NHL Picks as besides being the better team, they are probably catching a fatigued Blue Jackets team after Columbus played late in Vancouver last night.

For a second straight game, the Calgary Flames will be facing a Western Conference cellar-dweller. They’re hoping that Sunday’s episode goes a little better than Friday’s.

On Friday, the Flames took a five-game winning streak into Edmonton to face an Oilers team they had defeated in 14 of the last 16 meetings. The Flames left Rexall Place black and blue, and a very stinging 3-1 loss.

The loss wasn’t crippling but it did blow the Flames chances of moving up into a top-eight spot in the West. They’ll try to regroup on Sunday as they host the worst team in the league as a big favorite on the NHL odds.

Sunday, March 18th
NHL Odds: Calgary -205

The Columbus Blue Jackets can win because…
Rich NashColumbus seems to have Calgary’s number a little bit. As bad as the Blue Jackets have been over the last couple of seasons, they are still 3-1-1 in their last five against Calgary.

The Blue Jackets have been somewhat competitive since acquiring defenseman Jack Johnson from the Los Angeles Kings. Oddly enough, the Blue Jackets are 4-4-0 this month, which is quite impressive by their standards.

They have lost four straight entering this contest but part of that is because lead goaltender Steve Mason has been out. He’s got four wins in March while Curtis Sanford has three losses.

The Blue Jackets losses this month have been quite respectable. Two of them came to St. Louis and one was to Vancouver – both top tier teams in the West. That shows they’re more than capable of being competitive against Calgary on Sunday.

The Calgary Flames can win because…
Friday’s loss aside, the Flames have played really well recently.

Calgary has still won five of their last six games and they’ve been fairly reliable throughout this month. Friday’s loss was deflating but the good news is that backup goaltender Leiland Irving was in net while giving starter Miikka Kiprusoff the night off.

Kipper has been pretty good since the All-Star break as he’s 11-3-5 since with a 2.46 GAA and a .924 save percentage. On the season, he’s 20-10-4 at home, so you know he’ll give the Flames a good shot to win. He absolutely owns Columbus for his career as he’s posted a 16-5-3 record with a 2.07 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

The Flames were simply out of gas on Friday night as it was their fourth game in six nights and they couldn’t handle it. Now they’ve had a night off to refresh and they should have a lot more pep in their step because of it. On the flip side, the Blue Jackets should be worn down as they’ll be arriving late in the night on Sunday morning after playing a game in Vancouver on Saturday night.

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:
While fatigue took a bite out of the Flames game on Friday, bettors and touts should look for that same factor to be a problem on Sunday for the Blue Jackets.

After going toe-to-toe with Vancouver on Saturday night and having to fly late night to Calgary, look for them to be out of gas. Even so, the moneyline is too much so take the Flames on the puck line.

NHL Picks: Flames