The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers both enter Sunday with similar stories from yesterday. The Flyers were edged out by the Blue Jackets, 4-3, and the Maple Leafs beat the Rangers by a score of 5-3. Only difference being that the Leafs found the empty net to go up for a 2-goal win. Mitch Marner thought he had a hat trick, but the 2nd goal was ultimately awarded to Andreas Johnsson. It was still another solid night for Marner no matter if he recorded a hat trick.
His father is pressing for his son to be named the next captain of the Maple Leafs and it may not just be dad bias talking. The Rangers just didn’t have the firepower to keep up with the Leafs in the 3rd. They went into the 3rd knotted at 1 and things opened up tremendously in the final frame. Toronto is not a team you want to get into a run and gun game with.
The Rangers aren’t going to see an offensive as efficient as the Maple Leafs on Sunday, but the Flyers can still be dangerous. They just about tied things up late, with Bobrovsky coming up big for the Blue Jackets. Henrik Lundqvist got the day off yesterday, so he will be in net to face the Flyers.
It will be nice for him to get a few extra days off for Christmas, as he’s going to need all of the juice he can get to make it to the end of the season. At 36 years old, what used to be easy isn’t as kind on the body anymore, especially for a goalie. Lundqvist has been awful recently, so it’d give him a lift if he can get out of Sunday with a quality start under his belt. Head below for free Flyers vs. Rangers pick.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
While the Rangers will put their starter back in net, the Flyers don’t really have a starting goaltender available. The guy getting paid to be the starter is Brian Elliott. Elliott, who was playing fine before getting injured, may never be back to normal this season. His return in net is TBD, which spells trouble for the Flyers. They’ve gone through Alex Lyon, Anthony Stolarz, and Carter Hart as replacements.
Hart would be 5th on the depth chart, with Elliott and Michal Neuvirth the true No. 1 and 2. Neuvirth has been battling injuries, but has looked awful when he’s been on the ice. In two outings, Neuvirth has gotten blasted for a 6.14 GAA and 0.719 save percentage. He allowed 6 goals to the Jets and most recently 3 to the Islanders on just 10 shots. Neuvirth has to get something going or it’s going to be difficult for the Flyers to stick with him. Although, with all of the injuries they can’t do much about it right now.
The Flyers have been worse on the road, with an average of 3.94 goals allowed per game. Also, Neuvirth owns a career GAA of 2.51 at home compared to 2.87 on the road. While the Rangers are inconsistent as they come, the club is best at home with 3 goals scored per game and a record of 11-4-2.
Although, they have allowed 4 or more goals in seven of their last games, with an average of 3.7 goals per game in their last ten outings. Ditto for the Flyers, who have given up 3.7 goals per as well. With Neuvirth in net, there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight. There aren’t any indications that this should be a low-scoring contest, so a play on the OVER looks solid.