The NHL is set up with another great slate of games on Super Bowl Sunday. Five games are up on the board throughout the afternoon of February 7. One of these games will be between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals. These two teams have had strong starts to the season and will look to earn a win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 12:00 PM Eastern time on NBC.
The Flyers have earned a record of 7-3-2 throughout this season so far, which has them sitting in second place of the East Division. Philadelphia is coming off back to back losses against the Boston Bruins, which has hurt them a bit. The Flyers were on a four game winning streak before those losses and will look to get back in the win column in this one.
Washington has put up a record of 6-2-3 so far this season, which has them in the third seed of the East Division. The Capitals are coming off two straight losses as well in this one. Washington has had a solid start to this season, but will look to get back in the win column on Sunday afternoon. If the Capitals can come out hot in this one, it could give them the edge in this one.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots in the East Division to this point in the season, which should lead to a good game in this one. These two teams are coming off two straight losses, which should bump up the intensity on Sunday afternoon. If either team can come out hot in the first period, it could help give a win in this one.
The Flyers and the Capitals met up five times throughout last season. The first game was in Philadelphia on November 13. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the shootout to lead Washington to a 2-1 win. The second game stayed in Philadelphia on January 8. Robert Hagg, Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny all scored for the Flyers as Philadelphia earned a 3-2 win at home.
The third and fourth game were in Washington on February 8 and March 4. Sean Couturier had two goals and an assist, while Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists. The Flyers dominated the third game for a 7-2 win. Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov each had a goal and an assist in the fourth game of the season series as Philadelphia took a 5-2 win.
The fifth and final game of the season series was during the seeding games on August 6. Travis Boyd scored a goal for the Capitals, but it was not enough for Washington to earn the win. Scott Laughton had two goals and an assist and Kevin Hayes had three assists. Travis Konecny had two assists on the night, while Brian Elliot had 16 saves on 17 shots as the Flyers won 3-1.
These two teams met up plenty throughout last season, with the Flyers having won four in a row against the Capitals. Washington will look to come out much better in this one after a lot of tough losses to Philadelphia last season. The Flyers earned their biggest win in the qualifiers, which helped drop the Capitals to the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Washington will look for some revenge with a win in this one.
The Flyers power play has been strong this season, while their penalty kill has struggled a bit at times. Philadelphia has capitalized on 9 of their 38 power play opportunities, which is a 23.7 percent success rate. The Flyers have killed off 31 of the 43 penalties against them, which is a 72.1 percent penalty kill. Philadelphia will look to step up on the penalty kill in this one.
Washington’s power play has been dangerous through the early part of this season, but their penalty kill has also struggled. The Capitals have scored on 9 of their 26 power play chances, which is a 34.6 percent power play. Washington has given up 8 goals on their opponents 39 power play attempts, which is a 79.5 percent kill rate.
The Capitals have the edge in this one on special teams, but they need to stay out of the box. Washington has had way more penalties against than power plays for this season. Philadelphia’s penalty kill has not been great this season and if the Capitals can break through on the power play, it could hurt the Flyers. I expect Washington to try and dominate early on the power play to give them the edge.
I expect Carter Hart to get the nod in the crease for the Flyers in this matchup. Hart has earned a record of 4-2-2 throughout his eight starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .898 and a 3.42 GAA through those starts. Hart’s last start was against the Boston Bruins, where he stopped 31 of 35 shots in a losing effort. Hart will look to bounce back in this one.
Vitek Vanecek will likely get the start between the pipes for Washington on Sunday afternoon. Vanecek has started nine games, going 5-2-2 through those starts. He has posted a .911 save percentage and a GAA of 2.95 in his games played. Vanecek’s last start was against the New York Rangers, where he turned away 27 of 30 shots in the loss.
These two teams have had solid performances from goalies this season. Vanecek has stepped up big since Ilya Samsonov is still out after getting COVID-19. Hart had to sit out Friday nights game against the Bruins due to back spasms. Hart should be back in this one and will look to improve his numbers this season after a bit of an inconsistent start.
These two teams are near the top of the East Division, but are both looking to earn a big win to end this two game losing streak. Washington struggled against the Flyers last season, losing four of the five games to them. I think the Capitals will look to come out stronger in this one as they try to turn it around. If Washington can step up on offense in this one, I think they can pull off the upset at home.
BetOnline has Philadelphia listed as a -118 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Flyers will win this game around 54.1 percent of the time. I think that this game should be closer to even with it being in Washington. The Capitals have been strong this season so far and as underdogs at home, I really like the value on Washington to knock off the Flyers.