Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers will remain at the PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in an East Division matchup. These teams faced off on Tuesday where the Penguins picked up a 5-2 win behind right winger Kasperi Kapanen scoring a pair of goals. The Philadelphia Flyers (11-5-3, 25 points) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-1, 25 points) are both tied for fourth in the East Division. A big story will be that Sidney Crosby will not play here as he is in COVID protocol.

These teams have played against each other and the goals have piled up so it will be interesting to see which defense can slam the brakes on the opposing offense. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.

Winner Winner Left Winger

The Philadelphia Flyers have been playing very well in the early stages of this season and one reason has been the play of left winger James van Riemsdyk, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The team is relatively healthy as only Morgan Frost is the only player listed on the injury report. Riemsdyk is seventh in the league in points, goals, and assists as he has 18 points (10 goals, 16 assists) this season and has been on fire by scoring eight points in his last five games. In his last game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he finished with an assist while attempting just three shots in 15:40 on the ice. Riemsdyk has shown the ability to be one of the best players and it’ll be time to see if the Penguins can continue to step up on the offensive side of the puck.

Carter Hart and Brian Elliott have both spent time in the net this season for the Flyers and have been playing solid as a goalie unit. Hart got the nod in the goal in the last game against the Penguins and he allowed five goals on 27 shots in a loss to bring his record to 6-4-3 so far this season. On the season, he allowed 43 goals in 403 shots. Philadelphia has allowed 59 goals this season, which is 12th in the league. They have been below average against opposing power plays as they have killed 48-of-66 (72.73 percent) of them so far this season. The Penguins are an average offense in the league so this will be a chance for the Flyers to get back within the top of the East Division.

Penguins Need to Stay Hot Without Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been playing well in the early stages of this season and one reason has been the play of left winger Jake Guentzel, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The team is going to need to figure out how to score without star Sidney Crosby due to COVID protocols. Guentzel is tied for the team-lead in points as he has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) this season and has recorded a point in four of his last five games. In his last game against the Philadelphia Flyers, he finished with an assist while attempting just two shots in 19:13 on the ice. Guentzel has shown the ability to step up and it’ll be time to see if the Penguins can continue to step up on the offensive side of the puck.

Tristan Jarry has spent the majority of time in the net this season for the Pittsburgh Penguins and have been playing decently well this season. In the last game against the Flyers, he allowed two goals on 42 shots in a win to bring his record to 8-6-1 so far this season. On the season, he allowed 44 goals in 439 shots. Pittsburgh has allowed 67 goals this season, which is 20th in the league. They have been below average against opposing power plays as they have killed 49-of-66 (74.24 percent) of them so far this season. The Flyers are an average offense in the league so this will be a chance for the Penguins to climb the standings in the East Division.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The most simple stat could be the most telling: goals per game scored. The Flyers are fifth in the league with 3.32 goals per game while the Penguins are 16th in the league with 2.95 goals per game. Faceoff percentage is another key stat as you control the puck and can go on the attack, which also means they aren’t allowing pressure on their goalie. Philadelphia is tied for sixth in the NHL with a 52.7 faceoff percentage. Pittsburgh is tied for 17th in the league at 49.5 percent. The Flyers are 6-3 on the road this season while the Penguins are 3-6 in PPG Paints Arena so go with the Philadelphia Flyers to win in this game here.

Prediction:
Philadelphia -125

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

These teams allow a good amount of goals and have some issues in the net this season. The Flyers are tied for 11th in the league giving up three goals per night while the Penguins are tied for fifth with 3.19 goals per game. In their first three games against one another this season, they are combining for 7.7 goals per game, meaning they score at will against one another. The over has hit in the last four games played between the Flyers and Penguins so it seems that the OVER will be the better play here.

Prediction:
OVER 6