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Puck Line Looms Large as Flyers Face Penguins

Philly Looks to Extend Dominance Over Pittsburgh

The Philadelphia Flyers are nearing the completion of an underwhelming campaign that will see them on the outside looking in come playoff time. Still, Philadelphia (23-22-7) will look to extend its season-long dominance over the Pittsburgh Penguins (34-16-3) when the Flyers play host to their in-state rivals for the second straight night on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh will be locked in and intent on bouncing back from an embarrassing 7-2 loss on Monday night, but the Flyers have the look of a great Puck Line pick at the very least. Now tied for first place in the East Division standings, Pittsburgh is a slight road favorite to take down sixth-place Philadelphia. The NHL Odds for this division clash are live in the BetUS Online Sportsbook right now.

Egor Zamula of the Philadelphia Flyers takes the puck in the third period against the New Jersey Devils
Egor Zamula of the Philadelphia Flyers- Elsa/Getty Images/afp

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers

When: Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

TV: NBCSN, SN, TVAS, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT

NHL Odds

Pittsburgh -165

Philadelphia +145

Puck Line

Pittsburgh -1½ (+140)

Philadelphia +1½ (-160)

Total: 6½

Penguins Look to Solve Struggles vs Flyers

Pittsburgh is tied with Washington for the division lead with 71 points but the Capitals have a game in hand. The Penguins have gone 7-3 over their last 10 games, but they’ve struggled all season against the Flyers. That was on full display on Monday night as the Penguins got blown out of the water en route to an embarrassing 7-2 loss.

Veteran forward Evgeni Malkin had an assist in his return to action after missing 23 games with a lower-body injury while Sidney Crosby and Jason Zucker lit the lamp for Pittsburgh.

“I just don’t think we were on our game,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “I don’t think we were skating, I don’t think we were playing the game that we’ve played here for a long time that’s brought us success.”

Pittsburgh has lost five of seven against Philadelphia and probably shouldn’t give its in-state rivals any bulletin board material like this. The Penguins have dropped two straight to the Flyers, including a 2-1 home loss on April 15 as a -170 home favorite. Pittsburgh’s two wins against Philly this season have both come on their home ice at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins have been held to two goals or less in three losses against the Flyers. Pittsburgh averages a healthy 3.3 goals per game (fourth) on 30.1 shots per contest (10th). Defensively, the Penguins allow 2.8 goals per game (13th) on 30.1 shot attempts (16th). Jake Guentzel leads Pittsburgh with a team-high 22 goals. Crosby has a team-high 36 assists.

Flyers Look to Back Up Emphatic Win

The Flyers will look to back up their blowout win over Pittsburgh after snapping a three-game skid the last time out. Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist to lead Philadelphia to the stunning win. Joel Farabee had a goal and two assists. Wade Allison, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Robert Hagg also scored for the Flyers, who won for just the sixth time in their last 16 games.

“I think it happens to every team that sometimes you just don’t have the legs, and I think we were just faster and fresher than them,” said Jakub Voracek, who had three assists.

The Flyers have scored at least four goals in four of their five wins over Pittsburgh while getting the win three times as a moneyline underdog. Philadelphia averages a modest 2.8 goals (16th) on 30.2 shots per contest (ninth). Defensively, the Flyers allow a whopping 3.5 goals to rank dead last in the NHL. James van Riemsdyk has scored a team-high 16 goals. Voracek has a team-high 31 assists.

Philly Covers Puck Line in Narrow Loss

The Penguins have responded well from a loss and I believe Crosby and company will get the outright win in this matchup to back that fact up. The Penguins are an unblemished 4-0 in their last four games following a loss of three or more goals and 6-2 in their last eight road games.

Still, I like Philadelphia as a Puck Line pick in this matchup simply because they have owned the Penguins in recent meetings. Philadelphia has won five straight at home in this long-standing rivalry while the home team has gone 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.

With nothing left to play for except pride, I like Philly to show up with another great effort to keep the final score in this online betting a one-goal difference.

Pick: Philadelphia +1½ (-160)

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