Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins Free NHL Pick 3/18/12
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There has been a lot made about the winning streak that the Pens are on, but when you really look at it, the Flyers have been downright scary as well. They are just five points back of the Atlantic Division lead and the best record in the Eastern Conference as well. Sure, the team was beaten in OT by the Boston Bruins on Saturday, but this is still a team that is really playing well. Philly is putting up 3.2 goals per game this year, ranking No. 1 in the league, and this is with a defense that is now all of a sudden getting some great play out of Ilya Bryzgalov. He had three shutouts in a row before giving up a couple of goals to the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Assuming that he is in net, Bryzgalov is going to be going for his 30th win of the season on Sunday. There are still a lot of notable injuries for this team. Several defensemen, including the newly acquired Pavel Kubina have injuries that might keep them out of the fold on Sunday, and that could be bad news against a Pittsburgh team that is playing as well as any team has all year long.
A dominating 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on the road on Saturday marked the 11th win for the Penguins in a row. If was the third game that they won by that same 5-2 margin. Sidney Crosby has been back in the lineup for just two games after another long bout out of action, and in these two clashes, he already has had a hand in five goals. He, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal make up one of the most dangerous lines in the game, and when these guys are on, Pittsburgh is a tough team to try to keep off of the scoreboard, especially when it is on the power play. The Penguins rank No. 6 in the league, converting on 19.5 percent of their man advantages, and that parlayed with the fact that they have been rolling up the goals on this winning streak puts them in second place in the league in goal production at 3.1 goals per game coming into Sunday.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins Pick: Is there really any way that we could reasonably go against the Pens? If there is a team that can get the job done, it is the Flyers. All good things must come to an end, and if Bryzgalov can stay hot, he could be able to pull off the upset at Consol Energy Arena.
Free Hockey Pick: Philadelphia Flyers
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