The Metro Division meets the Atlantic Division this afternoon and we will see the Philadelphia Flyers invade Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario to grapple with the Ottawa Senators. The Flyers enter off a 2-1 home win over the Blue Jackets, while the Senators are off a 4-3 home loss to the Lightning. Goalie Probables: Petr Mrazek should get the call for the Flyers and the Senators will counter with Craig Anderson.
Flyers Squeak By The Jackets Behind Mrazek
The Philadelphia Flyers continue to be a hot team as they have now won their last four games in a row and eight of their last nine after taking down the Columbus Blue Jackets at home by a score of 2-1 on Thursday night. I’ll get to Petr Mrazek in a moment as it was his first start for the Flyers. Philadelphia has really been playing well of late and has now moved to within one point of the Capitals for the top spot in the Metro Division. Do not sleep on this team down the stretch, especially once they get healthier in the crease. The Flyers did trail Columbus 1-0 as the teams headed to the 3rd, but they scored two goals in the first 9:49 of the final frame and held on from there. Scoring in the win was Claude Giroux, which was his 21st of the year and Nolan Patrick, which was his 8th of the year. The Flyers have gone 16-14 on the road and they have averaged 3.00 gpg and have allowed 2.77 gpg in those games.
The Flyers have lost their top two goalies so they went out and traded for Petr Mrazek from the Red Wings and he got his first start for the Flyers in the win over the Blue Jackets. In that game, he allowed just the one goal on 19 shot attempts to improve to 9-10 with a 2.80 GAA and a .911 save percentage on the year overall, while out on the road he has gone 7-6 with a 2.69 GAA and a .919 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 43-38 with a 2.63 GAA on the road and 17-34 with a 2.92 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Senators he has gone 4-2 with a 1.92 GAA.
The Flyers have been above average on offense as they come into this game ranked 11th in the league in scoring at 2.98 gpg, while also ranking 19th in shots taken (31.5 spg) and 7th in power play conversions, converting on 21.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been above average as they come in ranked 13th in goals allowed, giving up 2.79 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots allowed (30.1 spg) and 28th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.7% of their chances.
Comeback Falls Short Against The Bolts
The Ottawa Senators continue to struggle as they come in having lost their last three games in a row and 12 of their last 18 after falling at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-3. The Lightning had a 4-1 lead in the game as the teams headed to the 3rd period, but the Sens were able to tighten things up with a goal at the 8:11 mark of the 3rd and one at the 17:44 mark. They just couldn’t get the tying goal for them and it was just another tough loss for a Senators team that is now 29 points out of 3rd place in the Atlantic Division and 13 points out of the 8th slot in the Eastern Conference. This will not be a playoff team this year. Scoring for the Sens in the loss was Ryan Dzingel, which was his 16th of the year, Mark Borowiecki, which was his 3rd and Derick Brassard, which was his 18th. The Senators have gone 14-17 here at home and they have averaged 31.6 gpg and have allowed 3.45 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Lightning was Craig Anderson, who allowed four goals on 24 shot attempts to fall to 17-24 with a 3.02 GAA and a .902 save percentage on the year, including 12-13 with a 3.29 GAA and a .898 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 132-120 with a 2.68 GAA in his home games and 29-31 with a 2.41 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Flyers he has gone 12-8 with a 2.64 GAA.
Ottawa has been poor at the offensive end of the ice so far as they come in ranked 24th in the league in scoring at 2.63 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots taken (30.6 spg) and 28th in power play conversions, converting on 16.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor so far as they rank 30th in goals allowed, giving up 3.35 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots allowed (33.3 spg) and 29th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.0% of their chances.
- 6-1 in their last seven after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- 5-0 in their last five vs. a team with a losing record
- 3-8 in their last 11 when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game
- 2-10 in their last 12 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
The Ottawa Senators are just not a very good team, while the Flyers have been one of the hottest teams in the league of late. The Flyers come in having won eight of their last nine games and while they have had injury woes in the crease, they did grab Petr Mrazek in a trade with the Red Wings and he had a very good showing in his first start for the Flyers. I look for him to have another good start against a weak Ottawa offense. The Sens have allowed 3.45 gpg here at home for the year and the Flyers have averaged 3.00 gpg on the road, so they should put up enough goals to walk away with a very nice win over an Ottawa team that is well out of playoff contention. The Flyers have struggled at this venue over the years, but still, I like them to take this one as they have all the edges in the game.