Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers Free NHL Pick 2/18/12
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The Penguins are still in a decent spot right now in the Eastern Conference playoff race, jammed in fifth place in the conference. The Flyers are just two points ahead for the No. 4 seed, but there are two teams that are just a point behind them and others that are still definitely within striking distance. The injuries are now finally almost gone on this team, as only really Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy remain. There is no real timetable for either one to return, and we know that both are probably out for at least another month or so. That being said, Pittsburgh has figured out how to triumph over all of these injury problems. The team is coming off of a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, but for as well as the Ducks have been playing, it wasn’t all that much of a shock. Besides, the team did net a whopping 12 goals in its previous two games, and it was only a matter of time until the offense just didn’t get the job done, especially without some of its best names in the fold. The defense has been suspect at times, allowing at least four goals three times in the last seven games, and that needs to be corrected against a fantastic Philly offense.
This is the type of game that the Flyers badly need to win. They still feel as though they have a shot at running down the New York Rangers atop the Atlantic Division, but they are going to need to get a move on. Injuries are starting to mount for the boys from the City of Brotherly Love as well, though. James Van Riemsdyk has a concussion, while Jaromir Jagr has the flu. Both are considered questionable for Saturday’s afternoon soiree. Daniel Briere is nursing an upper body injury, and of course, Chris Pronger, one of the best defensemen in hockey, is gone for the season with a nasty concussion. Again, it is amazing that with all of these knocks that the Flyers are still averaging 3.3 goals per game and 3.5 goals per game here at the Wells Fargo Center. On Thursday night, they fell behind early against the Buffalo Sabres, only to roar back and score seven goals for the victory.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers Pick: The Penguins are basically a .500 team on the road this year, but that is going to be good enough for us to want to back them on Saturday afternoon. The visitors have at least a 50/50 shot of probably coming away with two points assuming that all of the injured Flyers don’t end up suiting up.
Free Hockey Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins