NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Flyers Thursday

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, October 17, 2013 11:57 AM GMT

The Penguins travel to the Wells Fargo center in Philadelphia on Thursday to take on the Flyers with the opening faceoff scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. We offer up our favorite NHL picks for this east coast matchup.

According to current NHL betting odds the Penguins are a -160 money line road favorite and the total is posted at 5.5. This will be the first meeting of the season for these bitter rivals. Last season the Penguins took 3 of 4 from the Flyers including both games played at the Wells Fargo Center.

[gameodds]7/245616/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Penguins Power

The Penguins are off to a terrific start to the season and come off a 3-2 home win over Edmonton on Tuesday night. Evegni Malkin broke a 2-2 tie in the 3rd period with his 2nd on the season for the game winner. Sidney Crosby assisted on all 3-goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby extended his point scoring streak to 6-games to start the season, and has 3-goals and 4 assists in the last 2-games alone. Crosby is on top of the NHL scoring leader board with 12-points. The Penguins power play has been sizzling so far converting on 35.3% of their chances which ranks 2nd in the NHL to only Washington.

What’s flown somewhat under the radar is the encouraging start to the season for Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins #1 goalie posted a stellar 1.80 GAA and a .926 save percentage in 5 starts. Fleury was a major concern entering the season after he was just horrible during last year’s postseason. 

Backwards on Broad Street

The Philadelphia Flyers are an absolute mess right now above and beyond their 1-6 start to the season. After losing their first 3 games head coach Peter Lavoilette was fired and replaced by long time Flyer tough guy Craig Berube. The Flyers rewarded Berube with a win in his first ever game as a NHL head coach. However they’ve dropped 3 in a row since and the honeymoon has ended in the city of brotherly love. Tuesday night they had a 2-1 lead entering the 3rd period and ended up losing the game to Vancouver 3-2. The Flyers have been futile offensively thus far scoring 1-goal or less in 4 of their 6-games, and 2-goals or less in all 6-games. 

Final Analysis

Marc-Andre Fleury figures to continue his great start to the year versus a Flyers team that can’t put the puck in the ocean right now. The Flyers know they can ill afford to get into a run and gun game versus the explosive Penguins if they hope to be competitive. Philadelphia has gone over the total in just 1 of their first 7-games this season. The Penguins have gone under the total in 17 of their last 25-games when playing on exactly 1-day of rest. My lean is on the low side of the total tonight. 

Free Pick: Penguins/Flyers to go under 5.5