Side With The Home Chalk For Your NHL Picks When Flyers & Rangers Meet

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, February 14, 2016 3:01 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 3:01 PM UTC

See who will be in our NHL picks as the Flyers' season of discontent continued last night, while the Rangers saw their four-game winning streak snapped in their last outing.

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Free NHL Pick: New York Rangers -169
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Philadelphia Flyers (24-30 SU, -3.7 units)
After losing three straight, the Flyers appeared to be on track with a convincing 5-1 win over the Sabres on Thursday night. But the good mojo would not last as Philly played host to the New Jersey Devils last night and lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in overtime. If there is a silver lining in this disappointing 2015-2016 season, it would be the play of their third-round pick in the 2012 draft Shayne Gostisbehere. The 22-year-old defenseman notched his 10th goal of the season and broke a franchise rookie point streak connecting with at least one point in 11 consecutive contests.

Claude Giroux is the not surprisingly the leading point-getter with 46 while Wayne Simmons is at the top of the Flyers heap in the goals department with 20 on the season. However, two players does not drive an offense and goal scoring has been sorely lacking from this year's Flyers edition. The team ranks 25th in scoring averaging just 2.4 goals per game. It comes as no shock then that their power play unit ranks just 20th clicking on only 17.9 percent of their man-advantage opportunities. Defensively, they are better, but still rather pedestrian. Philadelphia ranks 14th in goals allowed surrendering 2.6 per game but their penalty killing unit has been lackluster at best extinguishing only 78.5 percent of the opposition's opportunities which places them 25th in that category.


New York Rangers (31-24 SU, +1.2 units)
The NHL odds makers installed the Rangers as -120 home chalk over the Pacific division leading LA Kings on Friday night but those who backed New York in their NHL picks found out in the end that they were on the wrong side of this game between two evenly matched teams. The Rangers had this one in the bag holding a 4-3 lead with just 30 seconds remaining but overtime was in their future as LA's Anze Kopitar capped his hat trick evening off with the game tying goal. Once the extra frame began it was the Kings' Tanner Pearson who whistled a slap shot above the glove hand of Rangers' backup goalie Antti Raanta to seal the deal for the visitors.

The Rangers' veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh has been out the last three games with a concussion while 12-year man and perennial 20 goal scorer Rick Nash remains sidelined with a bruised bone in his left leg and hasn't seen action in over three weeks. Mats Zuccarello leads the team with 19 goals and 41 points but scoring has not been confined only to him as New York's offense ranks 5th in the league due to a balanced attack with plenty of depth as evidenced by seven Rangers already in double digits in goals this season.


Betting Analysis
There are several things working against Philadelphia in this contest tonight. First off, they have not fared well in Madison Square Garden registering a 2-7 mark over the last three seasons. Secondly, the club is coming off a grueling 2-1 overtime loss just last night at home in Philadelphia while the Rangers were resting up for this Sunday night showdown.

But perhaps most importantly, it is a virtual guarantee that All-World goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be tending the twine tonight after getting a much deserved night off on Friday night and he has been immense at home this season. Lundqvist owns a 17-5 home mark this season (+10 units) with a sterling .923 save percentage and 2.13 goals against average. And as lofty as those stats are if you look at what the veteran All-Star has done over the past four games it gets even better. Lundqvist is 4-0 (+4.2 units) with a sizzling .954 save percentage and a 1.25 goals against average.

Though the lumber is relatively heavy, it is difficult not to lay it here with the home chalk when handicapping this game.

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