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There are just four games left in the season for the Flyers, and they need to win this one to have a shot to gain home ice advantage over the Pens in the first round of the playoffs. A loss in this one, and it is pretty much set in stone that the team is going to be right back here for the first two games of the postseason. The team has been wildly inconsistent over the course of the last few games. A 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road was great three days ago, but a loss in a shootout at home against the Ottawa Senators really didn’t help matters here in the City of Brotherly Love. Sergei Bobrovsky had to be in net in the loss against the Sens with Ilya Bryzgalov still dealing with a foot injury. He might be out again on Sunday, which would force Bobrovsky back into action again. Other injuries are continuing to mount for Philly as well. Andreas Lilja, Tommy Sestito, Andrej Meszaros, James Van Riemsdyk, Chris Pronger, Blair Betts, and Ian LaPerriere are all on the injury report as well, and none of them are going to be playing in this one.
Pittsburgh went on a huge winning streak at the right time to get back into the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The team has run out of some of the team, but in the end, there is still a great chance to get the No. 1 seed in the end as well. The Penguins need to make up five points on the New York Rangers to win the top seed with four games to play. The first item of business though, is going to be making sure to get home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. A victory in regulation in either this or the final game of the year in this exact same fixture will at least get the first job done. Evgeni Malkin needs two goals in the final four games of the year to be a 50-50 man. He has 48 goals and 54 assists this year, and he is surely going to be on the short list for the Hart Memorial Trophy. James Neal needs two goals to be a 40-40 man, and he has 38 goals and 41 assists. Sidney Crosby is back in the fold, and he is coming off of a four point game against the Buffalo Sabres. Sid the Kid now has 29 points in just 18 games on the ice.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins Pick: The Penguins are very likely to make sure that they are going to get the job done in this one. Philly just has too many injuries to be able to be able to win this one consistently, and we think that Pittsburgh is going to make a statement that it still has a chance to be the best team in the East.
Free Hockey Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.