The Flyers beat them in Pittsburgh last week; can they do it again and cash on the NHL betting lines at home? The Pittsburgh Penguins have been the better team in terms of overall accomplishments.
The Pittsburgh Penguins Can Win Because…
Philadelphia has been a gong show this season. On Saturday, the Flyers lost their 31st road game of the year. Only two teams in the entire league have less than the 10 road games the Flyers have registered, which is just one sign indicating how bad this team has been.
But even regardless of venue, the Flyers are a team that has dropped 10 of their last 13 games. Their offense has gone ice cold as they averaged just 2.31 goals per game in March, which ranked 21st in the NHL. The Flyers aren’t exactly playing with much momentum here. On top of that, it looks like the Pens will get Evgeni Malkin back in the lineup on Sunday and that makes a huge difference. Pittsburgh should have a good opening in this spot.
The Philadelphia Flyers Can Win Because…
They play great in this series. They’ve been the worse team in terms of standings this season – the Pens are heading to the playoffs, the Flyers are not – yet the Flyers are the team that’s won six straight. Even last week, they were a big road dog in Pittsburgh yet they easily cashed with a 4-1. For his career, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has a 2.90 GAA and an .899 save percentage against the Flyers but those numbers have been much worse of late. This year, he’s lost both meetings while posting a 4.04 GAA and a .873 save percentage. Last year, his GAA was 3.31 against them and his save percentage was .885. They have his number and if he’s in net again, the Flyers should have another good day.
The other main advantage for Philadelphia here is that they are at home. While they’ve been a deplorable road team this season – just 10 wins in 41 away games – they have been respectable at home. They are 21-9-7 as the host and are far more competitive when they play in front of their home audience.
Philadelphia doesn’t have a whole lot to play for, so look for them to relish the fact that they’re at home facing their biggest rivals. That will be enough motivation for them.
It’s fairly tough to back the Penguins in this spot as favorites in NHL odds. Not only do they not play well against Philadelphia, they aren’t a great road team and they haven’t been very good of late. They are just 20-26 since starting the season 22-10 and more recently, they’ve dropped eight of 11.
Although the discrepancy in the standings says one thing, this is a rivalry that plays out quite differently than it looks on paper. Take the Flyers with your NHL picks on Sunday.
NHL Pick: Flyers at 5Dimes