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NHL Preview: Flyers and Capitals Go Bonkers

Two of the NHL’s most electric offenses collide Saturday as the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Washington Capitals. Philadelphia (5-2-2) and Washington (5-1-4) combine to score nearly seven goals a game and are ranked eighth and fifth in goals scored, respectively.

Washington is being given the edge per the online sportsbook and they have also won six of their last eight games against Philadelphia. The Flyers have been a hot-and-cold team this season, but when they are on, they can give any team a run for their money. They may be worth a look here as an underdog.

NHL Preview: Flyers and Capitals Go Bonkers This Saturday
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP
Team Puck Line Moneyline Total Team Total
Philadelphia +1½ -200 +125 5½ -110o
Washington -1½ +150 -160 5½ -110u

Team Previews

Flyers on the Edge

Philadelphia has always been a fun team to watch and analyze by the numbers. On one hand, this team is scoring 3.3 goals per game and is a top-10 team in scoring and shooting stats. And on the other hand, the team is giving up a lot more scoring chances than they are generating and are pretty subpar in the corsi metrics.

What we have is a Flyers team that may be overachieving, just like they did in the earlier parts last season, or is just damn good at what they do. Carter Hart and Martin Jones have been sturdy in net and have combined for 4.8 goals saved above expectations. Hart has a 92.2 save percent on even-strength scoring chances, which is much higher than his 86.3% career average.

One can only wonder how long Philadelphia keeps this up or if they start getting exposed at some point. But for now, they may be an interesting underdog to bet online.

Capitals: Will Always Have It

Like the Penguins, the Capitals (Caps) have been a fixture in the Eastern Conference for over a decade. And just when they appear to be close to falling off, they roar right back every season’s start. The great Alex Ovechkin is off to another hot start himself leading the team with ten goals and being second with a +9 rating.

Even if the Caps’ power-play is sputtering right now (18.9%), the team is tied with the Panthers with the most even-strength goals scored. In fact, Washington has been dominant in 5v5 and ranks within the top ten in the major scoring metrics.

If the Capitals have a weakness, it’s the mediocre play of their netminders. Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek have combined for -4.1 goals saved above expectations with a 30% quality start percent. If they can pick it up, Washington may just be the best team in its division and possibly the NHL.

Betting Pick

We’re going to go against the recent history here and pick the underdog Flyers to pull off an upset. The NHL odds here is a bit too generous in what will appear more like a pick’em game. Philadelphia may only be 4-5-1 in its last ten games against Washington, but it is 3-2-0 in its last five visits to the Capital One Arena.

Sure, either Hart or Jones is still scary to trust given how poorly they played last season. But the Flyers have the firepower to match the Capitals and Washington’s goalies are ripe for picking themselves.

Pick: Philadelphia Flyers +125

Bonus Pick

The total has gone over in six of these teams’ last ten meetings. The first five meetings between these teams averaged a whopping 7.9 goals last season. This is when Philadelphia still had its mojo so we like the odds of this game resembling these games.

Pick: Total – Over 5½ (-110)

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