NHL Picks: Flyers vs. Lightning

Mike Richardson

Monday, March 18, 2013 12:30 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 12:30 PM UTC

It's final meeting between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers this season and with the previous two games being shared evenly there's EVERYTHING to play for in Monday night's match!

It's worth mentioning that both of those aforementioned games went in the home side’s favour, which, if the habit continues, will see the Lightning come out on top. The NHL odds opened up at -115 for the home team.

On the Road Again

It's the start of a very short road trip for the Flyers who are looking to bring an end to their three game losing skid. It won't be a walk in the park for the Flyers though as Philadelphia are 1-3-0 in their past four games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. But just to muddy those waters a little further Tampa Bay have only managed one regulation win in their last six home games.

Better the Devil You Know

The Flyers last game (Friday gone) was a tight and well disciplined affair where they kept the New Jersey Devils in check and eventually took the game 2-1 in the shootout. The game was tied 11 in regulation thanks to a goal from Flyer Max Talbot while the all-important shootout winner from Claude Giroux. It was Talbots second goal in three games.

That result doesn't impress your Humble Handicapper (much) especially when it is contrasted by the Lightning who took down the Hurricanes 4-1 on Saturday. That match may be the start of something special as Tampa Bay's Rookie forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat both broke their NHL goal cherries against Carolina.

That win brought to an end the very unwelcome five game home skid for the Lightning, their first in four seasons. And it was the just the second time that Tampa Bay scored more than three goals in 11 matches!

It was a sound performance by the Lightning as Carolina [15-11-1] had not one but two power-play opportunities, but didn't manage a single shot in either of them of them. Don't let that stat impress you too much, as Carolina are in a 2-for-30 slump with the extra man. What is impressive is the fact that the Hurricanes leads the NHL in second-period goals, but the Lightning outscored them 2-0 in the middle 20 minutes.

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The bookies have the Flyers winning at -105, while you can get the game ending tied at +290. If you’re looking at the straight odds on either side winning in regulation, Tampa Bay are +135 while Philadelphia are +155.

The Flyers have dropped their last three road games by a combined 12-4 score, falling to 4-11-0 away from home.

The last two visits to Tampa Bay saw the Flyers go down 5-1 both times, that score is offered up at +2800, but a more sensible bet is the game going Over 5.5 goals at -137.

By comparison the previous meeting was in Philadelphia and the Lightning went down 2-1 back in February. A repeat of that score is at +1800 and Under 5.5 is at +100. Back the Lightning for your NHL picks.

NHL Picks: Tampa Bay take it 4-2, available at +1700 with Paddy Power.

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