Well I was right about two things last night. For one, I had the Washington Capitals to beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes by two goals and they did just that, knocking off their divisional foe by a 4-2 score. That nets us a nice profit as that pick paid +155. The second thing I got right from last night’s Capitals victory was that I stated Alex Ovechkin would score his 50th goal sooner than later. Now, this prediction is anything but bold as he is once again clearly the league’s best goal scorer as he is likely going to run away with the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals in the league, but my point in yesterday’s article was that Ovechkin’s 50th would help us win that bet and it certainly did. We needed every goal that we got last night including two late ones to secure us a winner, and we will certainly take them in any form. With last night’s winner and Monday night’s push, my picks have only produced two losers over the last two and a half weeks. Nothing short of spectacular, so let’s get right back at it tonight with just four games on the NHL slate.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
My Pick – OVER 5.5 (+120)
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins will renew one of the best rivalries the NHL has to offer tonight as the two clubs will meet for the third time this season, with the season series finale coming Sunday afternoon in Philly. To be honest whenever I see these two teams facing off on the schedule I find myself licking my lips in excitement. These two clubs have engaged in some of the fiercest, most entertaining hockey games in recent memory as there is certainly no love lost in the battle of Pennsylvania. The Flyers have been officially eliminated from this year’s postseason while the Pens look at this game as a playoff tune-up given the playoff atmosphere we will witness tonight. The Flyers have won the first two games this season against the Penguins and have gone 12-2-1 including playoffs at the Consol Energy Center since it opened in the 2010/2011 season. While I am expecting an intense game this evening, I am also expecting a high-scoring one. In the two games to date this season, the two teams have combined to score 13 goals, or 6.5 per game. Something about playing the Flyers brings out the worst in Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andrew Fleury as the veteran netminder is winless in his last four starts vs. Philly and boasts a 4.04 goals against average over those four contests. Things don’t figure to be any easier on the former first overall pick as Philadelphia has one of the league’s best scoring duos in Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. In fact, Voracek sits just three points behind the league’s leading scorer entering tonight’s contest and that player just so happens to be suiting up for the Penguins on this night. Sidney Crosby is having arguably the quietest season of his career, yet still leads the league in scoring. His 79 points in 71 games paces the league, while Voracek sits with 76 points on the campaign. Evgeni Malkin has 71 points on the season so far in just 65 games, while Giroux enters tonight’s contest with 69 points of his own. All told, four of the top 11 point scorers in the league will be taking part in this game, so obviously there is serious potential for a high-scoring game. Enter in the fact that Pittsburgh will be without two of their top defensemen as Christian Ehrhoff and Kris Letang will watch from the press box tonight, leaving the Penguins with only five defensemen in their lineup. The Penguins cannot bring another d-man up from the minors either due to salary cap constraints, so they will cycle through a five-man rotation tonight against a dangerous offensive team. Philadelphia’s powerplay ranks third in the league with a 22.7% clip while the Penguins powerplay is eighth at 19.9%. The Penguins unit could be especially effective tonight given that the Flyers penalty kill sits second-last in the league at 76.6%. There have been plenty of goals scored between these two teams over the last several of years and there is no reason why that should stop tonight. Take the OVER 5.5 tonight and let’s cash in on some great odds.