Tonight, the Flyers get somewhat of a break as they face the 2nd worst team in the Eastern Conference in the Carolina Hurricanes. At 49 points, the Hurricanes are going nowhere. Let's see if they're going anywhere in tonight's game as the betting favorite.
Ice time is set for 7:00 pm ET tonight at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to the NHL betting odds, the Hurricanes are a -130 betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 5.5.
Does the Better Team Win at Desirable Odds?
Odds makers have Carolina as the betting favorite and this is due to home ice advantage. I was looking to recommend Philly as a live dog, but the Flyers are just 9-15-6 on the road while the Hurricanes have an above .500 record at home. Philly is the much better team and has been hot as of late. Are the Flyers the obvious pick here at great odds despite their inability to win on the road is the question.
We look for goalie confirmation because without a good netminder, a team is going nowhere fast and it obviously has a major effect in the game. In this case, we have confirmation that Robert Zepp will be in net for the Flyers and Cam Ward is "likely" to be between the pipes for the disappointing Hurricanes.
Zepp wasn't heavily tested, knocking away 21 out of 23 shots in a win over a very good Capitals team, but he has to feel good about the victory, facing the likes of Alex Ovechkin. Zepp is 5-1 on the season with a 2.63 GAA. For the Hurricanes. Cam Ward, carries a record of 15-19-4 with a 2.39 GAA. Ward has been given a raw deal as the Hurricanes have managed just 2.2 goals per game of offensive support and rank 28th in the league. With such an anemic offense, Carolina can't expect to win too many games and the bettor has to like Robert Zepp and the Flyers coming into this game as Philly has the post-season on their minds.
When your leading scorer has 36 points on the season, you're not going to win many games. There are players on other teams with 36 assists alone. In this case, it's acceptable to a degree as defenseman Justin Faulk is having a good season on a non-productive team. The Panthers are actually #1 in the NHL in power play killing and Faulk is a major reason for their success. On the offensive end, he's managed to hold his own with 7 assists in 9 games in the month of February. He carries a -17 on the season, but this is expected on a team that doesn't score goals.
One player who does know how to light the lamp is veteran Eric Staal. Staal is just 30 years old and already has 307 goals in his storybook career to go along with 413 assists. This is a player that's not afraid to get his hands dirty and mix it up. Thus far, in two games against the Flyers this season, Staal has 2 goals. He also has 1 goal and 2 assists to go along with 12 shots on goal in his last 3 games. This is an aggressive player and just the type of player that Carolina needs in order to give them a chance against an untested goalie in Zepp.
The Flyers aren't a big time scoring team, but they have three big time players in Jakub Voracek (19 goals, 44 assists), Claude Giroux (17 goals, 40 assists), and Wayne Simmonds (24 goals, 18 assists). With a trio such as this, they're never out of a game and have a possible chance at the playoffs. All three of these players have had success against Carolina this season and Wayne Simmonds is currently on a 8 game point scoring streak. Simmonds is the player to keep an eye on as he's potted 6 goals and assisted on 4 in 9 games in the month of February. With all these factors coming into play, take the Flyers with your NHL picks.
NHL Pick- Philadelphia +110 at 5Dimes