Flames join Islanders as underdogs on Thursday NHL odds

Calgary Flames centre Sean Monahan. (Sam Hodde/AP Photo)

The Calgary Flames will be fighting for their playoff lives when they continue their Western Conference first-round series with the Dallas Stars on Thursday as +110 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Calgary dropped a 2-1 decision in Game 5 on Tuesday and now trails 3-2 in the series, going into Thursday night’s action at Rogers Place.

The Flames have faded since posting wins in two of the first three games of the series. With Matthew Tkachuk sidelined by injury, the club has fallen to defeat in back-to-back outings for the first time since late February. Now perched on the brink of elimination, Calgary has also tumbled on the series prices to +375 odds.

Poised to record first-round series wins in consecutive years for the first time in two decades, the Stars look to Thursday’s contest as -130 favourites at online betting sites.

Dallas has steadily gained momentum as this series has progressed, overcoming a shaky performance in the Western Conference round robin. And while the Flames have now lost two in a row for the first time in almost six months, the Stars are now enjoying their first two-game win streak since February 25.

The Flames are not the only team facing elimination on Thursday. The Washington Capitals avoided getting swept with a narrow 3-2 win over the New York Islanders in Game 4 of their series, and aim to close the gap when they hit the ice for Game 5 as slim -120 favourites.

Down 2-0 after the first period in Tuesday’s contest, the Capitals’ big guns finally came to life. Alex Ovechkin led the comeback, scoring a pair of goals, while Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson each turned in two-point performances.

The Capitals still have a mountain to climb to stay alive in this series, and to string together consecutive wins for just the second time since January 27. Washington has also struggled in recent dates with New York, falling to defeat in five of their last seven meetings according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

Listed as +100 underdogs for Thursday, the Islanders have posted wins in six of eight playoff outings to date, and are listed as heavy -1200 favourites to hand the Capitals a first-round series loss for the second time in as many years.

However, the Islanders have been dismal performers in Game 5 situations, falling to defeat in 12 of their past 13 Game 5 appearances since 1987. That includes their 2015 first-round clash with the Capitals, which they went on to lose in seven games.

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