The playoff drive is in whole swing, and Monday evening attributes a battle between two in-state rivals trending in reverse instructions. The Pittsburgh Penguins (28-20-7, 4th Metropolitan) keep in Pennsylvania but head a little east to get on the Philadelphia Flyers (25-23-7, 6th Metropolitan).
The Penguins have run into some issues lately, winning just three of their final 10 games. Coming into tonight, Pittsburgh is on a 4-video game shedding streak and finds by themselves just a single place forward of the Blue Jackets for the final playoff place. Meanwhile, the Flyers are executing every thing they can to get again into competition. Philadelphia is 9–1 in their final 10, which included an 8-video game winning streak, and is now just six points at the rear of Pittsburgh for that final playoff place.
There has only been a single meeting between these golf equipment this period, with the Flyers winning 4-2 in Pittsburgh again on December 1st. Inspite of the shedding streak, the Penguins are favored on the street -120.
Caught in a Pitt
It has been a period of streaks for a Penguins group that alternates between Stanley Cup contender and fringe playoff group. Pittsburgh commenced the period 6-1-2, then shed 9 of their up coming 10 to drop to 7-8-4. In December, they place with each other a period-large 8-video game winning streak to climb up to 23-12-6. Considering that January 4th, they’ve absent 5-8-1 in their final 14 games, placing the history at the existing mark it is now.
Inspite of the the latest struggles, Pittsburgh still ranks highly on offense, sitting down 6th with 3.42 ambitions for every video game, when also position 7th in capturing proportion and 10th in pictures on purpose. But purpose-scoring has not been the most important difficulty, as the Penguins rank a measly 20th in ambitions allowed (3.09) and 27th in pictures allowed. They do, having said that, have a major-10 penalty get rid of and have the eighth-fewest penalty minutes for every video game.
Even although Sidney Crosby (62 points), Phil Kessel (57), and Jake Guentzel (51) have all had powerful seasons, the Penguins are now missing the presence of Evgeni Malkin. Malkin, who has been out since January 30th with an higher-overall body harm, is third on the group with 55 points. His absence is being felt, as Pittsburgh has eclipsed two ambitions just the moment in the course of their the latest shedding streak.
After two straight starts from Casey DeSmith, Matt Murray is expected to be in net tonight. The two-time Cup winner is 15-9-1 with a 2.97 GAA and .909 help you save proportion.
The Flyers have had fascinating climb again into competition. Even though the Penguins were placing with each other a long winning streak quite a few weeks back, Philly was on the shedding conclusion in 8 straight games, placing their history at 15-22-6. Considering that slipping to the Capitals on January 8th, the Flyers have responded with victories in 10 of their final 12 contests, including a period-large 8-video game winning streak that ultimately ended on Thursday in a shootout decline to the Kings.
Thanks to a phenomenal final thirty day period, the Flyers have climbed again to the middle of the pack offensively, position 16th with 2.89 ambitions for every video game. They’ve also moved to 18th in both equally pictures on ambitions and capturing proportion. They still rank just 25th with 3.29 ambitions allowed but have allowed a lot more than three ambitions just 2 times in their final 12 games.
At the heart of this climb again into the playoff race, captain and All-Star Claude Giroux qualified prospects the group with 58 points. Next him, Sean Couturier (48 points) and Jakub Voracek (47) are also red-very hot. But the most important rationale has been the enjoy of Carter Hart. The 20-yr previous rookie received his eighth straight video game on Saturday, tying the NHL rookie history for most consecutive wins ahead of the age of 21.
Hart is the moment once again expected to start off and check out to break the history. So much this period, Hart is 11-5-1 with a 2.45 GAA and .926 help you save proportion.
Even although Pittsburgh is the favorite at -120, and still the improved all round group, in some cases momentum is the only explanation. The Flyers are actively playing elite hockey, and getting elite enjoy from their goaltender. The Penguins are getting neither of those people factors ideal now, and I feel the Flyers maintain it rolling against their rival. I’ll get the Flyers to earn +100.