With the series even at one game apiece, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers battle in the all-important Game 3 of the NHL playoffs’s opening round. The matchup gets going at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 15, and you can see the game live on NBC.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Odds
Pittsburgh (-115) is currently the favorite over Philadelphia (-105) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).
Though the team is 48-36 straight up (SU) this season, Pittsburgh has actually lost 2.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 84 regular season matches, 48 of its games have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just three have pushed. The Pens are 17-24 SU on the road in 2017-18.
The Penguins offensive attack attempted 34.4 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.3 goals per contest (ranked fourth overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the team is maintaining an average of 34.0 shots on goal and up to 4.0 goals per game.
After accounting for the leagues best power-play unit in the regular season (converting 25.7 percent of all chances), the Penguins have been able to score on 12.5 percent of their postseason power play chances.
Sporting a .907 save percentage and 26.1 saves per game, Matt Murray (30-21-3) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If head coach Mike Sullivan chooses to rest him, however, the team might turn to Tristan Jarry (15-11-2 record, .908 save percentage, 2.77 goals against average).
Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (99 points) is up to 43 goals and 56 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 26 different games. Kessel has 34 goals and 58 assists to his name (and has logged at least one point in 57 games).
On the other side of the rink, Philadelphia is 43-41 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 84 regular season contests, 45 of its games have gone over the total, while 36 have gone under and just three have pushed. The team is 22-19 SU at home this year.
The Flyers have converted on just 20.9 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 29th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 76.3 percent of all penalties.
Flyers players have been sent to the penalty box 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 4.4 per game over their past five games. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Brian Elliott has denied 25.9 shots per game as the primary option in goal for the Flyers. Elliott has 25 wins, 20 losses, and seven overtime losses to his credit and has recorded a pedestrian 2.71 goals against average and a fairly-weak .908 save percentage this year.
The Flyers offense will be led by Claude Giroux (34 goals, 69 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under
- The over has hit in three of Philadelphia’s last five games.
- Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the leagues sixth-most hits per game (23.9), but the teams averaged just 20.6 hits over their last five away games.