Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#63 N.Y. Rangers 5.5 vs.
#64 Philadelphia Flyers -125
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 7:05pm EST
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Written by Valdis Pans

This article covers a past game!

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The New York Rangers (6th in East Division) will try to extend their current two-game winning run to three contests while paying a visit to the Philadelphia Flyers (4th in the East), who have dropped their past two decisions.

Rangers Win Two In Row

The New York Rangers (6-7-3) triumphed in consecutive games just for the second time this season after following up last Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win at the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-1 victory against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Saturday. Chris Kreider (5 goals, 6 points this year) scored a power-play snipe in the opening frame. Alexis Lafreniere (2 goals, 2 points) and Ryan Strome (5 goals, 9 points) tallied in the second period, while Mika Zibanejad (2 goals, 4 points) buried a shorty in the final third, finding the back of the net for the first time in 13 fixtures.

Goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped 26 shots on Saturday and has now gone 4-5-1 during the current campaign with a 2.23 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He has never faced Philadelphia before, while Alexandar Georgiev (2-2-2 on the year with a 2.95 GAA and a .893 save percentage) has posted a 2-3-0 past tally against the Flyers with a 2.39 GAA and a .918 save percentage. The Rangers, meanwhile, are 6th in least goals scored per game this season (2.44), 7th in least goals allowed on average (2.56), 27th in power play (12.9%; 8-for-62) and 5th in penalty kill (85.7%; 48-for-56).

Flyers Drop A Couple Straight

The Philadelphia Flyers (8-4-3) posted two straight defeats (0-1-1) after following up last Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers with a 7-3 fiasco against the Boston Bruins in NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe on Sunday. After Boston banked the opener 34 seconds into the contest, the Flyers took a 2-1 lead through Joel Farabee (8 goals, 14 points this year) and Sean Couturier (3 goals, 7 points), only to allow five consecutive snipes right after, including four in the second period, before James van Riemsdyk (8 goals, 21 points) netted Philadelphia’s third marker during power play midway through the final third.

Goalie Carter Hart (5-3-3 on the season with a 3.68 GAA and a .891 save percentage) allowed six goals on 23 shots in the first two periods on Sunday before being pulled for Brian Elliott (3-1-0 this year with a 2.25 GAA and a .928 save percentage), who made 11 saves in relief. Elliott is 3-8-1 against the Rangers historically with a 2.98 GAA and a .891 save percentage, while Hart has collected a 3-1-1 career total versus the Blueshirts with a 2.17 GAA and a .925 save percentage. The Flyers are 6th in most goals scored per game in 2020-21 (3.40), 8th in most goals conceded on average (3.27), 17th in power play (20.0%; 10-for-50) and 3rd from the bottom in penalty kill (71.2%; 37-for-52).

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Bad news for the Rangers! New York’s best player Artemi Panarin, who leads the team with 18 points so far this season (5 goals, 13 assists), will not be playing in the near future after taking a leave of absence following allegations linking him with an assault on an 18-year-old girl in Latvia 10 years ago. Certain sources claim it is merely an intimidation campaign against Panarin due to his outspoken criticism of Vladimir Putin. Still, the Rangers are now missing their star player and will have to tweak their lineup accordingly. Luckily for them, the Flyers are even more shorthanded! Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton all remain on the COVID-19 list, making Panarin’s absence for the Blueshirts almost unimportant. Without its core offence, Philadelphia has already lost its past two matchups, being outscored 9-5, and will not find it easy against a Rangers side, that has been a force against defensively vulnerable opponents, notching seven victories in its last 10 contests versus teams that have allowed at least five snipes in their previous game.

Prediction: New York Rangers (+110)

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Quite a few goals have been scored between the Rangers and the Flyers lately, with three of the past four encounters between the pair averaging seven markers per fixture. So, betting on this one to deliver when it comes to scoring is definitely not the worst of ideas! When facing off against teams that have allowed at least five strikes in their previous contest, the Rangers have gone past the set goal-mark on six of the last eight occasions. The very last four Wednesday outings, as well the most recent four contests played on two days’ rest, meanwhile, have all turned into high-scoring bouts for the Flyers.

Prediction: Over 5.5
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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