Two East Division teams with championship aspirations are set to square off Tuesday night as the Philadelphia Flyers (8-3-2) take on the Washington Capitals (6-3-3). In this article, we take a deeper look at the Flyers at Capitals betting pick.
Both teams have had shaky play in net as of late, and this is the second meeting of the year between the two clubs. Philadelphia won the opener of this two-game series 7-4 on Sunday. In light of their Sunday performance, the Flyers are the favorite Tuesday at (-121) while the Capitals are (+105). Puck drop is at 6:00 P.M. Eastern.
Philadelphia Flyers Preview
The Flyers have been an incredibly opportunistic and efficient team to begin the 2021 campaign. While they average a league-worst 23.7 shots per game (two fewer than the next closest team), they score eighth-most goals per game. Perhaps more impressively, their power play runs at a run-of-the-mill 21.4% so far this year.
Carter Hart has struggled in net early this season, so Brian Elliott will get the nod in net Tuesday night. Elliott has a 3-1-0 record with an impressive 2.19 GAA and a .929 save percentage. One of those wins was a 40-save shutout victory against the Buffalo Sabres.
After missing the last several weeks with a rib injury, Sean Couturier came roaring back on Sunday, scoring two goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist in just under 16 minutes of ice time. The hero of the day was Scott Laughton, whose hat trick kept things close in a first period where the Capitals dominated play.
Washington Capitals Preview
The Capitals have been statistically weird this season. They have both scored and allowed 3.58 goals per game. They score at 37% on the power play while averaging the seventh-fewest shots per game. A few weeks ago, they rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-3. They also had a game against Boston where they scored the first three goals before imploding to lose 5-3.
They just don’t make sense.
Vítek Vaněček was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January, but in three February games, he has allowed 10 goals, playing just 36 minutes before being removed from the game in favor of Craig Anderson. All while starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov is still battling COVID-19 and does not have an anticipated date of return. Vaněček is the expected starter on Tuesday.
Alexander Ovechkin has three goals and two assists in his past two games. Last Thursday, he passed Mike Gartner for seventh place on the all-time scoring list. With 711 career goals, he is now six goals behind Phil Esposito for sixth all-time. One has to wonder how close Ovechkin would have been to Gretzky’s record of 894 if it weren’t for a season and a half of lockout, then shortening of two seasons due to coronavirus.
On To the Flyers at Capitals Betting Pick
For my money, the Capitals have been too unpredictable from game to game to comfortable bet on them. The inconsistencies from game to game are maddening. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they pulled the upset, but I certainly feel more comfortable taking the Flyers.
- Knup Sports Free Pick: Philadelphia Flyers (-121).
Also, be sure to check out our NHL Power Rankings that get updated weekly.