National Hockey League action on Sunday afternoon and a pair of teams from the Metro Division will square off as the Philadelphia Flyers battle it out with the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Flyers will be playing this game on no rest as they have a home game against the Devils on Saturday night, while the Caps are off a 3-2 home loss to the Canadiens. Goalie Probables: The Flyers will be sending out Brian Elliott in this one and the Capitals will counter with Braden Holtby.
Lines: Washington -165/ Philadelphia +149
Flyers Are Looking To Stay In Playoff Race
The Philadelphia Flyers have been hot-and-cold this year and right now they are on an uptick. They have a game against the Devils on Saturday and prior to that, they had won five of their previous six games to move into the 9th slot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. They are just three points out of the 8th slot and a win here would aid them greatly as they look to stay in the race. It won’t be easy as the Caps are coming off a bad home loss and the Flyers are playing on no rest, but still, this is a team that is playing with a ton of confidence so anything is possible. The Flyers have been led this year by Sean Couturier, who has 26 goals on the year, which is tied for 3rd in the league while leading them in points is Claude Giroux with 54 and that ties him for 4th in the league. The Flyers have gone 9-12 on the road and they have averaged 2.90 gpg and have allowed 2.90 gpg in those games.
Michal Neuvirth is slated to get the start on Saturday night, so for this one, it will be Brian Elliott and he has gone 17-18 with a 2.84 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the year, including 8-10 with a 2.76 GAA and a .915 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 94-92 with a 2.54 GAA out on the road, while against the capitals he has gone 7-5 with a 3.21 GAA.
The Flyers have been a bit above average on offense as they come into this game ranked 14th in the league in scoring at 2.93 gpg, while also ranking 14th in shots taken (31.9 spg) and 9th in power play conversions, converting on 21.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average as they come in ranked 17th in goals allowed, giving up 2.87 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots allowed (30.7 spg) and 29th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.2% of their chances.
Caps Take A Bad Home Loss To The Canadiens
The Washington Capitals have been rolling right along and they were taking on the lowly Canadiens at home. Should have been an easy win for the Caps, but not so fast as the Canadiens pulled out a 3-2 road win over Washington. That’s why they play the games. The Caps have now lost three of their last four games, after winning five in a row. They are still four points ahead of the Devils for first place in the Metro, but still, they blew a chance at increasing their lead to six points. Scoring for the Caps in the loss was John Carlson, which was his 6th of the year and Lars Eller, which was his 10th. The Capitals have gone 18-7 here at home for the year and have averaged 3.16 gpg and have allowed 2.28 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Canadiens was Philipp Grubauer, who allowed two goals on 25 shot attempts to fall to 4-10 with a 2.56 GAA and a .917 save percentage on the year. Braden Holtby will be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 24-10 with a 2.70 GAA and a .916 save percentage on the year, including 15-5 with a 2.13 GAA and a .932 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 117-53 with a 2.14 GAA in his home games and 65-41 with a 2.32 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Flyers he has gone 8-11 with a 2.52 GAA.
The Capitals come into this game ranked 10th in the league in scoring at 3.02 gpg, while also ranking 31st in shots taken (28.7 spg) and 15th in power play conversions, converting on 19.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been average so far as they come in ranked 16th in goals allowed, giving up 2.83 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots allowed (32.1 spg) and 22nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.4% of their chances.
- 15-33 in their last 48 road games
- 2-6 in their last eight vs. the Metropolitan
- 51-16 in their last 67 games playing on one days rest
- 66-27 in their last 93 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
The Flyers have been playing very well of late while the Capitals have lost three of their last four games. Still, this is not a good spot for Philly as they are paying on no rest and will be facing an angry Washington team that is coming off a bad home loss to a bad Montreal team. The Caps will have Holtby back in the crease for this one and he has gone 15-5 with a 2.13 GAA here at home, while Elliott has gone just 8-10 with a 2.76 GAA on the road. I say to take the Caps in this one, especially since they have gone 5-1 in their last six home games in this series.