NHL Hockey Betting: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Hockey Betting:  Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

The latest renewal of the ‘Battle of Pennsylvania’, NHL version takes place on Sunday as the Philadelphia Flyers continue their late season playoff surge as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh is the hottest team in the NHL at the moment winning five straight and 9 of their last ten. The Penguins are currently in second place in the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference. Obviously, they’re not going to move up any since the Washington Capitals slammed that door shut weeks ago (Washington leads Pittsburgh by 18 points) but they do have to keep one eye on the New York Rangers who are three points behind with four games to play. Then again, even if the Rangers did pass them to finish second the two teams would still be playing in the first round of the playoffs only with New York having home ice advantage.

Nothing is certain for the Flyers. Right now they lead Boston by one point for the final wildcard slot in the Eastern Conference. Making it even more tenuous–Detroit and Philly both have 91 points though for now Detroit has the #3 spot in the Atlantic. This leaves three teams battling for two playoff spot. The Flyers can always move up–they have five games remaining and are just 2 points behind the top wildcard team, the New York Islanders and just 4 points back of the Metropolitan Division’s third place team the New York Rangers. Also working in the Flyers’ favor–they’re in better form than any of their rivals winning 7 of their last 10 (7-2-1). The Red Wings are 6-4-0 in their last 10 while the Rangers, Islanders and Bruins are all at .500 or below for their last 10 games.

Currently no line on this game due to questions about the Penguins’ goaltending status. Starter Marc-Andre Fleury is sidelined with a concussion but rookie Matt Murray has impressed in limited action. The 21 year old was between the pipes for Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win over the Islanders on Saturday and earned his first NHL shutout. He’s tentatively penciled in for Sunday but the shutout and playoff clinching win could have earned him a day off in favor of backup Jeff Zatkoff. Either way, when the line goes up the Flyers are the play.