2018 NHL Playoffs: Flyers at Penguins Hockey Lines for Game 2

Posted by Jordan Walters on Thursday,April 12, 2018 2:37, EDT in

The Pittsburgh Penguins were 4-0 against their bitter state rival Philadelphia Flyers during the 2017-18 regular season. Nothing changed in Game 1. The two face off in Steel Town on Friday in Game 2 before the series shifts to the City of Brotherly Love. The Pens are heavy Hockey lines favorites. Pittsburgh is -1.5 in the NHL odds.

2018 NHL Playoffs: Flyers at Penguins Hockey Lines for Game 2

When: Friday, 7 PM ET
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
TV: NBC Sports Network
Stream: NHL.tv
Radio: 97.5 FM (Philadelphia) / 105.9 FM (Pittsburgh)
Opening Hockey Lines: Pens -205, Flyers +185 (6)

Latest NHL Betting Trends

  • Over is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.
  • Over is 37-18-3 in the last 58 meetings in Pittsburgh.
  • Flyers are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings in Pittsburgh.
  • Flyers are 0-5 in the last 5 meetings.

Why Bet on Philadelphia?

I won’t be. The Flyers were 0-4 in the regular season against the Penguins, allowing exactly five goals in each. Things were much worse Wednesday night as Philadelphia was crushed 7-0 in Pittsburgh. Captain Claude Giroux called it “one of the worst games” he had ever been a part of.

Brian Elliott was pulled from the ugly loss. Elliott had only played in two games dating back to Feb. 11 (he was out with a lower-body injury) and it showed, as he allowed five goals on just 19 shots in 29:01 of action. Petr Mrazek, who entered the game in relief of Elliott, allowed two more goals on 14 shots.

Elliott had an up-and-down season when he was healthy. A terrible month of October was followed by him being one of the bright spots for the team in November and December, before his play dropped off significantly in January and early February. Then an injury sidelined him for 25 games only to have him return to the lineup for the final two games.

Will Coach Dave Hakstol make a change in net for Game 2?

Apparently not. “Right now my first instinct is yeah,” Hakstol said of sticking with Elliott. “It’s always different as you get into the playoffs, things are elevated a little bit. But coming back with Moose when he was coming off the injury, he’s our guy. He’s a huge reason why our team was able to put ourselves in a position to be in the playoffs. In terms of his presence in our dressing room and the trust we all have him in that’s a pretty big factor. Like everything else we’ll look hard at it, but right now my first gut instinct is he that he is our guy and I don’t see a reason why we would go away from him.”

Mrazek wasn’t good with Philly after coming over from Detroit around the trade deadline. Michal Neuvirth is still listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury and has played just 28 minutes since Feb. 18.

Sean Couturier also struggled mightily during Wednesday’s 7-0 loss. Couturier was the one who turned the puck over in his defensive zone on Pittsburgh’s second goal and he also took the penalty that led to Jake Guentzel’s power-play goal in the second frame, which made it 4-0 for the Penguins at the time. Couturier finished the game with a minus-4 rating, two penalty minutes, one shot on goal and three hits in 20:13 of ice time

During the regular season, when Couturier and Giroux weren’t on the ice, the Flyers’ goals for percentage dropped by 18 percent. Couturier and Giroux produced 3.75 goals per 60 minutes of even-strength ice time.

Why Bet on Pittsburgh?

What makes the Penguins an impossible matchup is Sidney Crosby’s ability to raise the play of any and every winger put alongside him. Crosby is likely to play with Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, which allows the team to skate Evgeni Malkin with Phil Kessel, as took place in last year’s playoffs, or for Kessel to shift to the third line.

All of that was on display Wednesday as Crosby had a hat trick, his third this year and third career in the playoffs, tying the franchise record set by Mario Lemieux, now the team’s part-owner. Crosby’s amazing second-period goal gave the Penguins a 5-0 lead at the time. The Penguins captain then added two more tallies in the third frame to give his team 6-0 and 7-0 leads. Crosby finished Game 1 with a plus-5 rating, four shots on goal and one hit in 16:13 of ice time.

Guentzel scored a goal and three assists. Guentzel helped set up Rust’s first-period goal and both of Sidney Crosby’s third-period tallies. He also added a power-play goal in the middle frame to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-0 at the time. The 23-year-old finished the game with a plus-4 rating, four shots on goal, one hit and two blocked shots in 13:50 of ice time. Guentzel led the playoffs in goal scoring last year (13 goals). Crosby’s line with Guentzel and Bryan Rust was amazing. They all scored at least once and finished a combined plus-14 in the game.

Who Else Scored in Game 1?

Malkin also found the back of the net. With the Penguins up 2-0 in the first period, Malkin came out of the penalty box, grabbed the puck in his own end and went around three Flyers before beating Elliott with a backhander. It was the 59th playoff goal of his career, which ties him with Stan Mikita for fifth-most by a European skater.

Matt Murray turned aside all 24 shots he faced. If you go back to last year’s playoffs, the Penguins netminder has now gone 206:26 without allowing the opposition to score (the Predators were shut out in Games 5 & 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals). It was the fifth playoff shutout of Murray’s young career.

Expert NHL Betting Prediction

Absolutely no reason not to take both Pittsburgh and over the total on a parlay in the Hockey lines.