In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers collide at the Wells Fargo Center in a Metropolitan Division tilt. NBC Sports Network will air the matchup, which gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Odds
With a moneyline of -115, Pittsburgh heads into the contest as the slight favorite. The line for Philadelphia sits at -105 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).
Pittsburgh is 19-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 9.0 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 40 regular season contests, 20 of its games have gone over the total, while 18 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Pens are 7-14 SU as an away team in 2017-18.
Pittsburgh comes into the match up with the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 25.0 percent of its extra-man chances this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 17th out of 31 teams, and it has successfully killed off 81.0 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, Pittsburgh has been penalized 4.3 times per game overall during the 2017-18 season, and 2.4 per game over its last five on the road. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sporting a .902 save percentage and 25.7 saves per game, Matt Murray (15-13-1) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If it decides to rest him, however, the team might turn to Tristan Jarry (5-7-2 record, .921 save percentage, 2.40 goals against average).
Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Kessel (42 points) is up to 16 goals and 26 assists, and has recorded multiple points in nine different games. Malkin has 14 goals and 22 assists to his nameand has logged a point in 24 games.
Philadelphia is 16-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and just two have pushed. It’s 8-11 SU at home this season.
Philadelphia has converted on 19.5 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 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.0 percent of all penalties.
Philadelphia players have been penalized only 3.7 times per game in total this season, and 2.2 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 5.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Brian Elliott (27.5 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott has 14 wins, 17 losses, and seven OT losses and has maintained a mediocre 2.62 goals against average and a .914 save percentage this year.
The home team offense will be led by Claude Giroux (13 goals, 33 assists) and Jakub Voracek (eight goals, 38 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
The total has gone over in three of Philadelphia’s last five outings.
Pittsburgh has attempted 34.9 shots per contest overall this season (the most in the NHL), and 33.9 in its last 10 games.
The Penguins are 7-10 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Flyers are 5-10 SU in games where they serve more minutes than their opponent.
Pittsburgh is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Philadelphia is 0-3 in shootouts.
Philadelphia skaters have forced 5.0 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 5.4 takeaways per game (ranked 29th in the league).
Pittsburgh skaters have managed 5.8 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 6.2 takeaways per game (ranked 26th overall).