Metropolitan Division rivals meet on Wednesday night on NBCSN, as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Philadelphia Flyers. The teams are separated by just one point in the standings, as they battle for second place in the division, so this is a huge contest. The Penguins have won both of the meetings this season, winning 5-1 in Philadelphia and 5-4 in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have won 7 of the last 10 meetings in the series overall.
At 8 p.m. ET, tune into NBCSN for live television coverage of this NHL game on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center.
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The Penguins have not looked the same since losing goaltender Matt Murray to a concussion. Murray has started skating again but there is still no timetable for his return. Pittsburgh has been going with Tristan Jarry for the most part with Murray unavailable and while Jarry played well early in the season, he has not played that well of late. The Penguins did make some moves at the deadline, including getting center Derick Brassard from Ottawa. Brassard got his first goal with the Penguins on Saturday and he is now centering the third line with Phil Kessel on his right. “I think they played well together,” coach Mike Sullivan said recently. “They’re obviously two very good players. (Brassard) sees the ice well. He’s a good playmaker. And Phil is as well. Hopefully, with each game that they play together, they feel a little bit more comfortable.”
Pittsburgh has not played nearly as well on the road this season as they have at home. They are just 13-20 on the road, with 17 games going over the total, 15 going under, with one push. They are scoring 3.2 goals per game and giving up about 3 goals per contest.
The Flyers have cooled off after a six-game winning streak and they come into this game on a three-game losing streak. The Flyers have actually played better on the road than at home, as they are just 16-16 at the Wells Fargo Center this season. They have gone over the total 16 times at home, under 15 times, with one push. They are scoring 3 goals per game and giving up 2.8 per contest. The Flyers are currently in a playoff spot but I don’t think they are safe, as they have a very tough stretch of games coming up, as they play Boston, Winnipeg, Vegas and Columbus in their next four games after facing the Penguins.
The Penguins have the top power play in the league, hitting at nearly 27 percent, while they are 11th in penalty killing at over 81%. The Flyers are 12th on the power play at just over 20%, but they are poor in penalty killing at 29th in the league at only 75%.
Pittsburgh has won 7 of the last 10 in this series, with the last three going over the total. The teams have split their last ten in Philadelphia, with two of the last three going over the total.
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I lean a little bit to the Penguins in this contest, but I am definitely concerned about their road record and I don’t like the fact that Murray is probably out. I think the better play is on the total. We will probably get a 6 in this game, but I don’t know that it matters. The Penguins have to score a lot of goals to win with Murray out of the lineup and their power play has been lethal this season. The Flyers are nothing special on defense and I am still not sold that Mrazek is an upgrade in goal on what they already had. I will take this game on Wednesday night over the total.
NHL Odds: Penguins 5, Flyers 4
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