New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers

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The Flyers and Islanders are going to play the final game of a three-game series on Monday night which will be the rubber match with the Flyers winning the first game 4-3 but the Islanders taking the second game 6-1. The first two games were played in New York but the final game is going to be in Philadelphia with both teams in the middle of a competitive East Division, making this game all the more important to win.

Islanders defense is getting the job done

The Islanders have looked like one of the best teams in the NHL winning 20 of the 32 games they have played this season. The big reason the team’s success has been their defensive play with the Islanders only allowing 2.2 goals per game. Not only does the defense have arguably the best pairing in the league in Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, who have combined for 5.1 defensive point shares but have seen their depth play well with Noah Dobson, Sebastian Aho, and Thomas Hickey all playing well recently. Moreover, the goaltending duo of Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov has been exceptional with both goalies allowing less than 2.1 goals per game and saving .915 shots per game.

The big question for the Islanders in recent games has been finding offense without their top-line center Anders Lee, who is on the long-term injured reserve with a torn ACL. Brock Nelson has led the offense with 12 goals this season but Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mat Barzal are going to have to lead their lines with the two scoring 10 and 9 goals respectively.

Flyers defense has struggled

The Flyers are in the race for the final playoff spot in the East Division but two of the last three games have to be concerning as the defense has allowed their opponents to score 9 and 6 goals in defeats. The Flyers defense has not been good this season, allowing 3.5 goals per game and seeing the backend of the unit struggle but most importantly, the goaltending duo of Carter Hart and Brian Elliott has struggled with both goalies saving less than .900 percent of shots.

While the defense has struggled, the offense has played well and will need to carry the team if the Flyers have any hope of making the playoffs. The Flyers are scoring 3.1 goals per game and the duo of James van Riemsdyk and Joel Farabee have combined for 26 goals on the top line. In addition, 7 of the Flyers skaters have 6 goals or more to give the offense three strong lines of offense and while Jakub Voracek only has 5 goals, he leads the team in assists with 17.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Flyers are returning home and after taking the first game of this series, it’s easy to assume that they can win the final game. However, The Flyers are going to struggle to find scoring with the Islanders’ defense not only proving to be deeper than many people thought but with Semyon Varlamov returning to the net with the expectation that he’ll have a better night after struggling on Thursday night. In addition to the Islanders limiting the Flyers in this game, they should also be able to pile on the goals in this game with the Flyers playing terrible defense and the Islanders finding scoring on their top line with Mat Barzal creating open shots or the fourth line taking advantage of the backend of the defense. The Islanders should win this game and win easily.

Prediction:
Islanders (-124)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The Islanders should play well defensively, especially with Varlamov back in the net. However, the Flyers should find a few goals with the duo of Joel Farabee and James van Riemsdyk breaking through. In addition, the Islanders should be able to pile on the goals in this game with the scoring depth overwhelming a struggling defense and goaltending situation for the Flyers. Expect the Over to cover with both offenses piling on the goals, especially the Islanders.

Prediction:
Over 5.5