By Julie Glass
Okay, catch your breath.
The Flyers and the Penguins series is tied at one game apiece and game 3 is:
Penguins at Flyers Wells Fargo Center at 3PM ET TV: NBC
Vegas has made the Penguins are a -115 favorite on the moneyline. The Flyers are a -105 underdog, while the total is set at 6 goals. As of Sunday morning, 75 percent of public bets have sided with visiting Pittsburgh.
Elliott bounces back strong
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol was proven right in sticking by goaltender Brian Elliott, who was maligned after allowing five goals in less than two full periods of Game 1 which led to him being yanked in favor of Petr Mrazek.
Plenty of Flyers fans wanted to see Mrazek get his shot in Game 2 after looking slightly better than Elliott in relief, surrendering two additional goals on 14 shots. But instead, Elliott tended the pipes in Game 2 and was much more on his game. Elliott stopped 34 shots, only giving up a goal with 14:33 remaining in the third period after the Flyers were already staked to a 4-0 advantage. Elliott will once again be the biggest key for the Flyers in Game 3. If the high-powered offense of the Penguins is slowed down early, frustration can set in which leads to extended poor play. The Flyers can’t afford to get into shootouts if they hope to win this series.
Penguins’ offense not an issue
Sure, Pittsburgh did not score a goal until it was trailing 4-0 in the third period and the team as a whole didn’t play anywhere close to what appeared to be a flawless Game 1 when they cruised to a 7-0 win. But the Penguins still registered 35 shots on goal and put pressure in the Flyers goalie. The hosts simply ran into a hot goalie who was extra motivated after being embarrassed in Game 1. Patric Hornqvist scored the lone goal for Pittsburgh on assists from Justin Schultz and Brian Dumoulin. The Penguins offense was third in the NHL in scoring this season (3.3 goals per game) and prior to the push in the last game, the over had hit six straight meetings. If you don’t want to bet a side in this game, don’t hesitate to throw some money on the over as it seems like a safer bet than the under.
The Penguins are 5-1 in the last six meetings. Pittsburgh is 6-0 in its last six games when the opponent allows two or less goals in the previous game. The over is 7-0 in the last seven Pittsburgh road games against a team with a winning home record.
The over is 6-0-1 in the last seven meetings. Philadelphia is 5-0 in its last five home games. The Flyers are 4-0 in their last five games versus a team with a winning road record.
Most bettors seem to be gravitating toward the Penguins and the star players on that roster including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel.
But Pittsburgh is a mediocre road team (17-20-2-2), while Philly is solid at home (22-13-3-3) and has been particularly strong lately.
The Penguins seemed to get a little too lazy in Game 2 thinking this would be an easy series after the trouncing they laid in the initial game.