After a big winner yesterday evening in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, we’ll look to the other team from Pennsylvania to try and improve our record to 8-3 here at The Sports Geek. We’ve been solid with these featured plays, and hopefully that trend will continue throughout February. Friday night, the Flyers will travel to Washington to take on a struggling Capitals team mired in the basement of the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia Flyers (-110) @ Washington Capitals (-110)
Truthfully, the logic behind this game being listed as a pick’em is somewhat baffling. The Capitals look abysmal in all facets of the game right now, and return home off a back-to-back situation. Washington blew yet another 3rd period lead yesterday evening in Toronto, and the quick turnaround will negatively affect their squad.
Braden Holtby, last season’s playoff hero is expected to get the call for the Capitals. Holtby has been brutal so far in 2013, posting a 5.03 goals against average and a .863 save percentage in two losses. Though that’s a small sample size, things will not get any easier against a Philly team that can fill the back of the net.
Though the Flyers started their campaign off slowly, they’ve begun to round into form. Their loss of Scott Hartnell to injury was devastating, but Claude Giroux is a legitimate star player and has stepped up in his absence. Phuiladelphia has also gotten Danny Briere back from injury and together the duo should provide trouble for a tired, and flawed defensive corps of the Capitals.
In between the pipes, Philly has received a welcome surprise by the play of their enigmatic netminder, Ilya Bryzgalov. The Russian failed to live up to the hype in 2012 but has been stellar so far this season. He’s played strong games throughout, and expect another fine outing against a struggling Caps team.
Washington is pure fade material right now. Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom haven’t bought into what head coach Adam Oates is preaching, and it shows on the ice. The Flyers are a hungry and motivated group, looking to keep pace with the Penguins in the Atlantic division. Expect a premier road outing from Philadelphia, en route to a convincing victory.
PICK = Philadelphia (-110)