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Flyers Penguins Betting – Pens End Home Skid Against Philly Rivals

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/4/2012 4:30:05 PM

Most online betting players know that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia don’t like each other, and last Saturday’s contest boiled over into a fight-filled end to a win for the Flyers. In a potential preview of a first-round playoff matchup, expect a physical hands-on clash that will be more about setting a tone than three points, but give the edge to Pittsburgh.

What: NHL Betting
When: Saturday, April 7th, 4:00 PM ET
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

Why Bet On Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers fell 5-3 at home to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, giving up four goals in the first period and it wasn’t a banner night for goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped just 19 of the 24 shots he faced. Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek found the scoresheet, while Claude Giroux added three assists, but it’s tough to come back from a four-goal deficit, especially against the best team in the conference. The power-play was atrocious, going 1-of-8 on the night and it’s always difficult to take a loss when you outshoot a team 40-24. The Flyers will have their final home game on Thursday night against Buffalo, who are still trying to fight their way into a playoff spot, so they can’t take their foot off the gas yet because the Sabres will be coming for them.

They’ll also have to go into battle without former Sabre Daniel Briere (back), who is injured in last Saturday’s melee (the hit on Briere was the spark that lit the fire), and their NHL betting odds for the playoffs could be impacted by his absence. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros (back) and forward James va Riemsdyk (foot) are also on the mend and could be back at some point in the postseason, but the loss of Briere really hurts as it could have been avoided, although replays show it was a completely clean hit by Pittsburgh’s Joe Vitale. The Flyers could be out for blood in this game against the Penguins, but they have to play smart hockey.

Why Bet On Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins dropped the defending Stanley Cup champions from Boston by a score of 5-3 on Tuesday night in an impressive road win, and Sidney Crosby led the way with a pair of goals along with an assist. Aaron Asham, Paul Martin and James Neal also lit the lamp, while Brent Johnson gave Marc-Andre Fleury the night off and stopped 26 shots for the Penguins, who scored on two of their four chances with the man advantage. It was a big win for the Penguins, away from home against a team that they could have to go through to get to the Stanley Cup, and Crosby is getting better with every game after missing the better part of more than a year because of his concussion problems. He also had to brush aside the “punk” comments made by analyst Mike Milbury (who has since apologized) as he thought Crosby was the one who started the mess last Saturday with a few slashes to the back of Brayden Schenn’s legs, who then cross-checked the Penguins’ captain and that could have put a target on Briere. Crosby didn’t really have much to say about Milbury’s comments, and went out and had a big game, like he always seems to do.

The aforementioned Vitale (face) took a puck to the face against the Bruins, but he should be fine for the Flyers and he’ll have to keep his head up because the Flyers will be looking for retribution. Winger Steve Sullivan (undisclosed) was limping after the Boston game, so you’ll have to check the injury report before making your call. This is going to be a very physical game between teams that don’t like each other and the Penguins’ main concern should be to get through it without any major injuries because Philadelphia surely isn’t happy about losing Briere.

How It Will Play Out

You would think that NHL betting odds would favor the Penguins at home, and they probably still will, but the Flyers have won five in a row in Pittsburgh and six of their last seven overall. The Flyers seem to thrive in the hostile environment of their opponent’s home rink, and they put the screws to the Penguins in last week’s 6-4 win in Pittsburgh.

The game will likely start off with some fisticuffs and then settle into an actual game, and the Penguins should be able to end their home jinx against the Flyers with their best players, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, stepping up to the plate. Also, Fleury didn’t play that well last Saturday and he’ll have the upper hand against Bryzgalov (or whoever is in the Philadelphia goal). Take Pittsburgh in your sports betting picks.

Flyers Penguins Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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