Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Philadelphia Flyers hope to avoid elimination at PPG Paints Arena in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The action gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 20, and fans at home are able to catch it live on NBC Sports Network.

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

With a -245 moneyline, Pittsburgh comes into the contest as the noticeable favorite. The line for Philadelphia sits at +205, and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).

Pittsburgh is 50-36 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, ranked second in the Metropolitan Division so far in this young season, isn’t too far off from to what the team managed during last year’s regular season (50-32). Among its 86 games this season, 48 have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just four have pushed. The team is 31-12 SU at home this season.

Following a regular season where they scored on 26.2 percent of all power-play opportunities (the league’s strongest), the Penguins have been able to score on 26.3 percent of their power plays in the early stages of this postseason.

The Penguins’ offensive attack attempted 34.3 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.4 goals per outing (ranked fourth overall in the NHL). In the postseason, however, the team’s down to an average of 31.0 shots on goal yet up to 4.5 goals per game.

Boasting a .909 save percentage and 26.1 saves per game, Matt Murray (32-21-3) has been the primary option in goal for the Pens this season. If the Pens decide to give him a rest, however, Pittsburgh may turn to Tristan Jarry (15-11-11 record, .908 save percentage, 2.77 goals against average).

The Pens will continue relying on offensive production via Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Malkin (103 points) has produced 45 goals and 58 assists and has recorded multiple points 27 times this year. Crosby has 34 goals and 64 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 57 contests.

Over on the other bench, Philadelphia is 43-43 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.7 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 86 regular season contests, 45 of its games have gone over the total, while 37 have gone under and just four have pushed. As the road team, the Flyers are 21-22 SU.

The Flyers have converted on 20.1 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 29th overall and it’s successfully killed off 75.7 percent of all penalties.

Philadelphia’s players have been penalized 3.5 times per game this season, and 4.6 per game over their last five road outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 10.8 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

Brian Elliott (25.5 saves per game) has been the primary choice in the net for Philadelphia. Elliott has 25 wins, 22 losses, and seven OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .905 save percentage and 2.80 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Flyers, the offense will be coordinated by Claude Giroux, who has 69 assists and 34 goals this season.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Free Picks

NHL Pick: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Philadelphia has attempted 31.7 shots per game overall this season (ranked 17th in the NHL), and 28.2 in its last five road games.
  • Over Pittsburgh’s last ten outings, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-3 in those games).
  • The Penguins this season have tallied the sixth-most hits per game (24.0), but the club has averaged 28.8 over their past five games as the home team.