Free NHL Picks: Flyers at Canucks Odds
by George Monroy - 12/30/2013
The Philadelphia Flyers have finally caught up to the rest of the Eastern Conference after starting the season with only four wins during the first 16 games of the year. Philadelphia is currently in a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in the conference and has won five of its last seven games. The team, however, will play five straight road games to close out the year and begin the month of January. The Flyers know that scoring points on their extended road trip will be of the utmost importance, and with nearly half the season gone, now is not the time to fall behind in the playoff standings.
December has been kind to the Vancouver Canucks. The team rattled off seven straight wins and has only two losses during the month. Vancouver is sitting in the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff standings with 52 points and only trails the first-place Chicago Blackhawks by seven points. The Canucks close out the year with a home game against the Flyers and will be looking to extend their recent fantastic play into January and beyond. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s matchup with predictions and analysis.
Flyers at Canucks Betting Story Lines
The Flyers have won two games in a row and are coming off a close shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. Philadelphia fell behind by two goals early in the game but battled back to force the game into overtime with two goals in the second period and one in the third. The Flyers allowed Edmonton to take only 16 shot attempts on the night, but goaltender Steve Mason still allowed three goals during those limited attempts.
Overall, Philadelphia is scoring 2.5 goals per game but also allowing its opponents to score 2.7 goals per game. The team allowed 16 goals over its last five games—four of which were wins. Philadelphia’s offense has been winning games recently, but if the team does not figure out its defensive situation soon, losses may start to pile up.
Vancouver is on a three-game win streak and has allowed only two regulation goals during that span. The team is coming off a shutout victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night and will be finishing up a road-and-home, back-to-back situation tonight against the Flyers. The Canucks allowed zero goals and 20 shot attempts during its last outing against the Flames. Goaltender Eddie Lack has played excellent over his last three starts, filling in for the injured Roberto Luongo.
Lack is 7-2 over nine starts this season and has one of the best save percentages in the league at .933. Overall the team allows only 2.2 goals per game, which ranks fourth in the entire NHL. The team also ranks first in penalty kill percentage at 89.5 and 15th in goals scored with 2.7 per game.
Flyers at Canucks NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Vancouver opened as a -150 moneyline favorite over the +130 Flyers at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -130. Philadelphia is 4-1 over its last five overall games but has lost five of its last six road games. The team is also 1-4 during its last five games against teams with winning home records. The Flyers have also gone over in all of their last seven road games.
Vancouver is 4-0 over its four games on the second night of a back-to-back and 6-0 over its last six home games. The team is also 8-1 over its last nine games following a win and 6-1 against the Metropolitan Division. Head-to-head, the Flyers are 6-1 over the last seven games played in Vancouver, while the road team is 5-2 over the last seven matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Flyers at Canucks Predictions
Monday night’s game is a matchup between two streaking teams. Vancouver has only lost two games in December, while Philadelphia has won five of its last seven games. The biggest difference between the two teams is that the Flyers have been winning because of their offensive output, while the Canucks have been winning because of their defensive output. Expect Philadelphia to hit a wall tonight and have trouble scoring against Vancouver. Take the Canucks on the moneyline.
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