Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Game Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 6 of the postseason’s first round. NBC will broadcast the game, and the opening face-off takes place at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 22.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Odds

Pittsburgh (+145) is playing the role of underdog to Pittsburgh (-165) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).

Pittsburgh is 50-37 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.5 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. 48 of its contests have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just five have pushed. The Pens are 19-24 SU as a road team in 2017-18.

After producing the leagues best power-play unit in the regular season (scoring on 25.7 percent of all chances), the Penguins have connected on 20.8 percent of their extra-man advantages in the early stages of this postseason.

Pittsburgh’s offensive attack attempted 34.2 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.4 goals per outing (ranked fourth overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, however, the clubs down to an average of 31.2 shots on goal yet up to 4.0 goals per game.

Averaging 26.0 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Matt Murray (32-22-3) has been the top option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If it decides to give him a rest, however, head coach Mike Sullivan could turn to Tristan Jarry (15-11-2), who has a .908 save percentage and 2.77 goals against average this year.

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin has 103 points on 45 goals and 58 assists, and has recorded multiple points 28 times. Crosby has 34 goals and 65 assists to his name (and has notched at least one point in 58 games).

Over on the other bench, Philadelphia is 44-43 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 87 regular season contests, 45 of its games have gone over the total, while 37 have gone under and just five have pushed. This season, the team is 22-21 SU at home.

Philadelphia has converted on 20.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, 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 76.2 percent of all penalties.

Philadelphia players have been sent to the penalty box 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last ten outings. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays a whopping 14.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Brian Elliott has stopped 25.5 shots per game as the primary choice in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott has 25 wins, 22 losses, and seven overtime losses to his credit and has recorded a fairly-weak .905 save percentage and 2.80 goals against average this season.

Claude Giroux (35 goals, 69 assists) will pace the attack for the Flyers.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Betting Predictions

Prediction: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Pittsburgh has attempted 34.2 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 32.7 in its last 10 outings.
  • The Penguins are 23-13 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 32-22 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Philadelphia is ranked 27th in the league with 5.8 takeaways per game. That figures trended lower recently, however, as it has managed 5.1 takeaways over its last 10 games and 4.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Pittsburgh has averaged 6.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.1 takeaways per game (ranked 18th in the NHL).