Preds or Stars: Flames first-round playoff opponent will be determined tonight

Apr 29 2022, 5:30 pm

The Calgary Flames are still waiting on the when but the who will be determined by the time heads hit pillows on Friday night. 

Odds have landed on either the Nashville Predators or the Dallas Stars for over a week. Now the Flames will finally learn which team they’ll welcome in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Predators currently hold the first wild card in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 45-29-7 record of 97 points. The Stars sit just one point back at 96 by way of a 45-30-6 mark. Each team has one game remaining. 

Calgary will play Nashville if the Predators should earn a win or overtime/shootout loss against the Arizona Coyotes tonight, or if Dallas loses in regulation or extra time when they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight. 

The Flames will battle the Stars if they win in any fashion and Nashville loses in regulation. 

Should Dallas win and the Predators lose in overtime or a shootout, resulting in the two teams having the same amount of points, a date with Nashville will be set; the Predators hold the first tiebreaker with 35 regulation wins to the Stars’ 30.

Dallas will play at home against Anaheim at 6:30 PM MST, and Nashville will play at Arizona at 8:30 PM MST. 

In more simplistic terms, the Flames will play against Nashville if:

  • Nashville wins against Arizona
  • They lose against Arizona in overtime or a shootout
  • Dallas loses in any fashion to Anaheim

The Flames will play against Dallas if:

  • Dallas beats Anaheim¬†AND¬†Nashville loses to Arizona in regulation

MoneyPuck, a popular public analytics site, projects the Predators to have an 87.1% chance to secure the first wild card — and a date with the Flames. Dallas is projected at a 12.9% likelihood.

Each opponent presents unique challenges to the Flames. 

The Stars won one of three games against the Flames this season, including a 4-3 overtime win at Calgary on November 4, a 4-3 regulation loss at Dallas on February 1, and, most recently, a 4-2 loss at the Saddledome on April 21.

The Predators went 2-0-1 against Calgary, picking up five of a possible six points, including a 3-2 overtime win at Calgary on November 2, a 3-2 shootout win at Nashville on April 19, and Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss at Bridgestone Arena.

The NHL has yet to release its playoff schedule.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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