The Philadelphia Flyers managed to steal Game 1 of their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they find themselves as the dogs once again in Game 2. Have the odds makers left the door open for NHL bettors in this matchup?

If you were hoping for a classic first round series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, you got it. It only took one game but it’s very clear that these two teams are going to fight tooth and nail over the next five or six games.

The Penguins looked to be in control of Game 1 after jumping out to a 3-0 lead but the Flyers methodically fought back. They forced overtime with two third period goals and then pounced in the extra frame to steal Game 1.

Game 2 suddenly becomes a must-win for the Penguins. They had a questionable home-ice advantage to begin with and now the Flyers have won seven of their last 10 visits to Pittsburgh. If the Pens can’t find a way to win Game 2, they’re going to be in trouble in this series.

Friday, April 13th

The Flyers managed to defy the NHL lines by winning Game 1 as a +172 dog, yet the NHL odds makers have once again labled them as the underdog, listing Philadelphia at +182. What the odds makers did learn was that this pairing has the ability to run up the scoreboards, and the NHL betting total of 6 reflects this.

Lets face it, the Flyers looked good offensively, but will they continue to shell Fleury, or will they decide focus on their own defense? Find out where we have decided to place our NHL picks in what could be the most eciting first round showdown in the Eastern Conference.

The Philadelphia Flyers can win because…

They have Marc-Andre Fleury’s number.

When most teams play Philadelphia, they have a distinct goaltending advantage but for whatever reason, they know how to consistently beat Fleury and they turn each of these matchups into shootouts.

Fleury made only 22 saves in Game 1 while giving up four goals. He’s now allowed 24 goals in seven meetings with Philadelphia this season and has allowed three or more in six of those contests. If the Flyers are going to be scoring three goals per game, they’re going to win this series.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh scored a couple of fluky goals early on and that’s not likely to happen again. Ilya Bryzgalov showed some nerves early on in the first period but slammed the door shut after that.

Following the Flyers comeback from a three-goal deficit, they’re going to be uber-confident with momentum on their side.

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…

They know what needs to be done.

Sidney Crosby

The Pens jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 1, so it’s not as if they were blown out. They did all the things they needed to do in the first period, played pretty well in the second and then mailed it in through the last part of the game. If they can recreate their effort from the first period, they’ll be just fine.

Pittsburgh is shaken after blowing a three-goal lead but don’t worry about that. This is a very experienced team that got the wakeup call they needed in Game 1. In the regular season, playing prevent defense with a three-goal lead might work. In the playoffs, it won’t, and that’s what the Penguins were reminded in Game 1.

A mentally frail team would be frazzled; this team won’t be.

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

The common conception is that the Penguins should bounce back. They’re a veteran team, they’re still at home and they’re going to play like their season is on the line.

But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore that the Flyers play so well in Pittsburgh. They’ve won six of their last seven visits and deserve more respect than this on the betting lines. The Flyers just know how to get pucks past Fleury, which means they’ll be in this game. If that’s the case, then laying this kind of juice with Pittsburgh doesn’t make sense. Take a shot with Philadelphia.

NHL Picks: Flyers