Penguins Vs. Flyers Odds
|Over / Under||6.5 (-120 / + 100)|
|Time||4 pm ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Battle of Pennsylvania will wrap up for another year when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon.
After four days’ rest earlier in the week, the Penguins shut out Boston 4-0 on Thursday and beat down Detroit 7-2 on Saturday to start a two-game winning streak. With three games remaining, they’re trying to hold off the Washington Capitals and hang onto third place in the Metropolitan Division.
As for the Flyers, they’re playing out the string. Their latest six-game losing streak pushed them down to last place in the Metro, but they are coming off a 6-3 road win over Montreal on Thursday night.
Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.
The biggest news around the Penguins is last week’s injury to starting goaltender Tristan Jarry. He’s listed as week-to-week with what’s believed to be a broken bone in his foot.
Casey DeSmith has played well in Jarry’s absence, giving up just four goals in three games. He earned the win on Saturday in Detroit, which probably sets up Louis Domingue to get the nod against the Flyers on Sunday.
A 30-year-old veteran with 141 career games of NHL experience, Domingue has appeared in just one game with the Penguins since signing as a free agent last September. On January 15, he made 40 saves in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 overtime road win over the San Jose Sharks, so he’s got a .976 save percentage and 0.99 goals-against average at the NHL level this season. In the AHL, where he played with the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins this year, he has a 10-9-2 record, .924 save percentage and 2.41 GAA.
On Sunday, the Penguins will have Evgeni Malkin back in their lineup after he served his four-game suspension for his cross-check on Nashville’s Mark Borowiecki.
Goaltending aside, Pittsburgh looks to be getting healthy just in time for playoffs after dealing with more than its fair share of injuries. And, despite all of the roster challenges, Mike Sullivan has gotten another solid campaign out of his squad. The Penguins are in the playoffs for the 16th consecutive year – a streak that dates back to Sidney Crosby’s second NHL season. And no matter who’s on the ice, Pittsburgh continues to deliver solid underlying numbers – 10th in the league this year in Corsi for percentage at 5-on-5, sixth in expected goals share and eighth in high-danger Corsi for percentage.
The Penguins are also excellent on the penalty kill, with the second-best success rate in the league. However, their power play is more inconsistent than you’d expect – a middling 20.9% for the year, with just two goals in 10 games in April.
If you haven’t watched the Philadelphia Flyers much this season, you’ll barely recognize the group that hits the ice Sunday.
Of course, captain Claude Giroux was traded to Florida at the deadline. The club’s injured list is also as long as your arm these days, with numerous players out for the rest of the season.
Franchise stalwarts like Sean Couturier and Carter Hart are on the sidelines. So are newcomers Cam Atkinson, Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan Ellis, along with additional defensemen Cam York, Nick Seeler and Kevin Connauton.
After seeing his iron man streak snapped with some healthy scratches earlier this month, Keith Yandle has been pressed back into service. Newly signed rookie Ronnie Attard and AHL call-ups Egor Zamula and Linus Hogberg are also gaining some big-league experience on the blue line.
Up front, youngsters Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost, Noah Cates and Bobby Brink are also seeing significant minutes.
The Flyers lost sight of a playoff spot long ago and are playing out the string with an eye toward a high draft pick. They’re 5-13-0 since Giroux played his last game in orange and black in mid-March. And for the season, they rank sixth-worst in expected goals percentage at 5-on-5, seventh-worst on the penalty kill and dead last on power play, which has one goal in the past 11 games.
Sunday’s game is the first of a back-to-back set for the Flyers. Look for Martin Jones to get the home-ice start against Pittsburgh, while call-up Felix Sandstrom is likely to play his fourth-career NHL game in Chicago on Monday.
Jones has been doing his best to carry most of the load following Hart’s injury, but he has allowed 22 goals in his past 18 periods of action, for a 4.82 goals-against average and .855 save percentage.
Penguins Vs. Flyers Pick
The fans in Philadelphia are bound to give the Penguins their usual rough ride on Sunday, but many of the new young Flyers are just being introduced to this rivalry. We may not see the usual intensity this time around.
The Penguins have won all three games of the season series this year – a 6-2 victory in Philly in January and a pair of wins in Pittsburgh, with Letang playing overtime hero in both.
With the Penguins trying to fend off Washington and hold their playoff seeding while the undermanned Flyers have little to play for, the outcome of this game should be relatively straightforward.
At +6.5, the over looks like a solid play at -120. For slightly better value, back Pittsburgh on the puck line to reel off a third straight multi-goal win.
Pick: Penguins -1.5 (+100); play down to -120