NHL Picks: Rangers vs. Flyers

David Schwab

Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:42 PM GMT

Both the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers will try and overcome a slow start when the two Atlantic Division foes clash this Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

NHL Game Preview and Pick- New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Year-to-Date NHL Record: 2-1

The game is slated to get underway at 4 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on the NHL Network and the NHL odds boards show the Flyers to be slightly favored.

Rangers Overview

The Rangers came up short in their first two outings but got off the schneid on Wednesday night with a 4-3 overtime victory over Boston as 117 home favorites. This avenged an opening day 3-1 loss to the Bruins as 125 underdogs on the road. The total stayed UNDER in that game but has now gone OVER in their last two.

Scoring has not been the issue for New York with eight goals in its first three games. Marian Gaborik was shutout his first two outings but made up for it with a hat trick that included the game winning goal against Boston. Brad Richards has added a goal and three assists to lead the team with four points. The problem has been on the other side of the ice where the Rangers have given up an average of four goals a game. Netminder Henrik Lundqvist has had his share of troubles in goal so far with a save percentage of just .887 in his first three starts.

Flyers Overview

As one of the top three favorites to win the Eastern Conference this season, Philadelphia never envisioned a 0-3 start to a fast-paced 48-game regular season. The team has not only stumbled out of the blocks with losses to Pittsburgh, Buffalo and New Jersey it has been outscored a combined 11-3 in those three games. The total has stayed UNDER in two of the three contests.

The most shocking aspect of this start is the fact that the potent Flyers attack led by Claude Giroux has managed just three goals after averaging 3.17 goals per game last season, which was the second-highest total in the NHL. The fact that Scott Hartnell is out with a foot injury will not help the cause. There also has to be some major concern with goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who has struggled with consistency in the past. Not only has he given-up an average of over three goals per game, he comes into this matchup with a save percentage of .902. With former Flyers goalie Brian Boucher back with the team and patiently waiting in the wings for a chance to start, do be surprised to see him between the pipes in the near future.

Rangers vs. Flyers Betting Lines and Trends

BetOnline Money Line: Rangers +105        Flyers -116

Bet Online Total Line: 5.5

The Rangers are 1-5 in their last six road games and 0-4 in their last four games against the division. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games on no day’s rest.

The Flyers have now lost their last six Atlantic Division games and are 0-7 in their last seven Eastern Conference games. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six games playing on one day’s rest.

Head-to-head in this division rivalry, New York has won the last eight meetings overall including its last four games in Philadelphia. The total has  gone OVER in four of the last five meetings.

[gameodds]7/218136/43/us[/gameodds]

Rangers vs. Flyers Game Prediction 

Desperation has a way of producing wins and that is what I'm counting on for my NHL Picks today. If Philadelphia hopes to have any shot at competing for a division title in a very short season, they know they need to win this game. It will not be easy, but look for the Flyers to snap their losing streak with a rare victory over the Rangers.

NHL Free Picks: Flyers 3 - Rangers 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)

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