The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, Wednesday April 11th, for game 1 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Flyers won four of the six meetings this season. NHL oddsmakers have installed the Penguins as -170 moneyline home favorites over the Flyers (+160) with the over/under set at 5.5 goals. Be sure to check the Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.
Philadelphia was five points behind the Penguins, but the Flyers did get the better of Pittsburgh during the regular season, winning four of the six encounters between the clubs. Philadelphia’s formidable top line is flanked on the wings by Scott Hartnell, who is also coming off a career-best season, and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr. The former Pittsburgh great recorded 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games this year and is now ranked eighth on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. Jagr also burned the Penguins this season, posting four goals and an assist in six matchups against his old club. He has 181 points (77 g, 104a) in 169 career playoff games.
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov suffered through a pitiful start to his Flyers career before finally looking like a franchise goaltender down the stretch. The 31-year-old Russian was 33-16-7 with a 2.48 GAA and .909 save percentage this year and was named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for March, going 10-2-1 with a 1.43 GAA and four shutouts last month. Bryzgalov has posted average numbers in the playoffs during his career, going 12-13 with a 2.55 GAA in 27 games
Pittsburgh finished just one back of the New York Rangers for first place in the division as well as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins have home-ice advantage at the start of this series, Pittsburgh has not fared well against the Flyers at home since opening Consol Energy Center, going 1-5 against Philly since the building replaced Mellon Arena at the start of the 2010-11 season. The first two games of this series, including Friday’s second meeting, will take place in Pittsburgh.
Sidney Crosby seems to be back to 100 percent after playing just 22 games during the regular campaign. Crosby still managed to record 37 points (8 goals, 29 assists) in just 22 games this season and he has compiled an amazing 103 points (40g, 63a) in 63 contests since the start of the 2010-11 campaign. The Penguins back end is led by the dazzling skill of top defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is no stranger to playoff success, having backstopped Pittsburgh to a title in ’09. Fleury is 41-28 with a 2.52 GAA in 69 career playoff games.
The Bottom Line: The Pens are favs, but I think the Flyers can steal a win based on their grit, as long as their goaltending is on. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NHL Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NHL Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Over is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Flyers are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Flyers are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
Road team is 15-6 in the last 21 meetings.
Penguins are 4-0 in their last 4 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Penguins are 5-1 in their last 6 playoff games as a favorite of -151 to -200.
Penguins are 17-4 in their last 21 vs. a team with a winning record.
Flyers are 1-7 in their last 8 games as a road underdog.
Flyers are 0-4 in their last 4 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
When: Wednesday, April 11th@7:30 PM EST
Pick: Pens -170
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.