Pittsburgh Penguins (39-24-9) vs Philadelphia Flyers (34-29-8)
Matt Murray (24-12-3) vs Carter Hart (13-9-1)
NHL Hockey Sunday March 17 2019 7:30pm Eastern (PPG Paints Arena)
Line and Odds: Penguins -170 Over/Under — 6.5
FREE NHL Score Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers
Nothing like an old school rivalry on a holiday dedicated to drinking and bar fights.The Flyers and Penguins continue their inter-state feud on St. Patrick’s Day in what is a must win game for Philadelphia as they remain loosely in the playoff race, 8 points back of Columbus with a game in hand. The Flyers were unable to slow down the Maple Leafs Friday, losing 7-6 and allowing 51 shots on goal (a season high), though their offense put up a valiant effort. The Penguins stumbled last night versus St. Louis as they went down 4-0 early into the second period and couldn’t recover, losing 5-1. The last time these two teams met was the outdoor classic in Philly where the Flyers overcame a two goal deficit in the final 4 minutes and won it in overtime, and the game before that had the incident where Evgeni Malkin swung his stick at an opponents face, resulting in a suspension. Emotions will be high and the need for a result will be higher.
The loss on Saturday ended a three game win streak and saw the Pens power play cool down after going 5 for 8 the two games prior. Pittsburgh has moved up to 4th in power play percentage now and will look to take advantage of a Flyer’s penalty kill unit that ranks 6th worst. The Penguins have worked their way up past the wild cards and are now threatening for second place in the Metropolitan division, sitting only 2 points back of the Islanders going into tonight.
Last night also saw Sidney Crosby held scoreless, a rare blank on the scoreboard as he had scored 17 points in the nine games following the outdoor loss. Fellow star center Evgeni Malkin has slowed down just a bit, putting up 9 points in his last 13 after accumulating 6 in his first three games back from suspension. Matt Murray got pulled for the first time since February 19 against the Flames and holds a 5-1-1 record in March.
Friday was a painful loss as Philadelphia lost a two and three goal lead to the Leafs and lost a game in which James Van Riemsdyk scored a hat trick. The Flyers playoff chances get slimmer by the day but they do have a chance to help their own cause, playing three games against teams directly in front of them in the standings. They will get the service of forward Ryan Hartman back tonight as he missed the Leafs game due to an illness. Hartman has three points since being acquired from Nashville.
Philadelphia is 3-1-1 in their last five road games and won the only game these teams have played in Pittsburgh this year.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Pittsburgh’s last 8 games
Pittsburgh is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Pittsburgh’s last 14 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Philadelphia is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games
Philadelphia is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games on the road
FREE NHL Prediction Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
These teams have carried a lot of drama into their games this year and I fully expect that to continue tonight. With drama usually comes offense and mental lapses so I would conjure that the score is going to be high as well. Philadelphia has had some success on the road but Pittsburgh is not a team that slumps back to back and I expect them to come out hard after getting blown out. I think it is a highly emotional game that remains fairly close until the end but I think the Penguins will get better goalie play and be able to defend their home ice.
PICK: Over 6.5