Philadelphia Flyers vs. Washington Capitals Game Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two teams squaring off for the second time this season, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals meet at Capital One Arena in a Metro Division tilt. NBC will showcase the game, and the opening face-off takes place at 0:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 21.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Washington Capitals Odds

Washington (-170) is currently favored over Philadelphia (+150), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over).

Netting 5.4 units for moneyline bettors, the Capitals are 28-19 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the league in this young season, is a regression from the 55-27 record that the team managed during last years regular season campaign. Of its 47 games this season, 26 have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and none have pushed. This season, the team is 18-7 SU at home.

Washington’s converted on 19.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 23rd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.4 percent of all penalties.

As a team, Washington has been penalized 4.2 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five matchups at home. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays for 9.2 minutes per contest over its last five home games.

Averaging 28.6 saves per game with a .916 save percentage, Braden Holtby (24-10-1) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Capitals this season. If the Caps decide to rest him, however, the team could turn to Philipp Grubauer (4-12-12 record, .917 save percentage, 2.56 goals against average).

The Caps will continue to rely on leadership from Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ovechkin (50 points) has tallied 28 goals and 22 assists and has recorded multiple points on 13 different occasions this year. Kuznetsov has 13 goals and 30 assists to his name and has notched a point in 27 games.

Philadelphia is 22-24 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.5 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. A total of 24 of its outings have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and just two have pushed. As a road team, Philadelphia is 9-12 SU so far.

Philadelphia has converted on 20.6 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 29th overall and it’s successfully killed off 75.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

Philadelphia’s skaters have been penalized 3.7 times per game this season, 4.2 per game over their last five outings total, and 4.2 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays 9.0 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Brian Elliott (2.84 goals against average and .906 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott is averaging 26.6 saves per game and has 17 wins, 19 losses, and seven overtime losses to his credit.

For the visiting Flyers, the offense will be facilitated by Claude Giroux (14 goals, 41 assists) and Jakub Voracek (eight goals, 45 assists).

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Washington Capitals Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone under in three of Washington’s last five outings.
  • Philadelphia has attempted 31.9 shots per contest overall this season (ranked 15th in the NHL), and 31.6 in its last 10 games.
  • Power-play chances may prove to be key in the outcome of this game. The Flyers are 9-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 15-12 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Capitals are 9-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 15-8 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Washington is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Philadelphia is 0-3 in shootouts.
  • Washington has created 6.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 7.3 takeaways per game (ranked 17th).
  • Philadelphia is ranked 29th in the league with 5.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher, as the team has created 6.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.0 takeaways over its last five.
  • Washington may hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 13-7 in games decided by one goal, while Philadelphia is just 6-13 in such games.