by Kevin Stott | Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins (-170, 5½ -120, LVH) (Versus TV): No team has gone through the playoffs as unscathed and as rested as the Penguins who swept the Senators and then took the Rangers out in five games in the East semifinals. If you couple that with a 13-game win streak at The Igloo in Pittsburgh and logic dictates that the homeboys are the team to back. But not so fast Grasshopper…
Granted Marc-Andre Fleury (8-1, 1.76 GAA, .938 save percentage) has been absolutely phenomenal in net and that Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby may be two of the top three scorers in the NHL. But Philadelphia is not scared of the Penguins and the intrastate rivalry thing actually kind of works in their favor here.
Between the pipes, the Flyers have Martin Biron (8-4, 2.72 GAA, .914), who helped the team jell as the defense became as stingy and tough as the offense was versatile and deep. Briere and Umberger have been awesome this postseason and should find ways to put the biscuit in the basket in this series despite Fleury’s skill.
Thought here is that the Flyboys will find a way to win at least one of the first two games in The Steel City as they did in the Washington and Montreal series’ where they split, 1-1. And with the healthy plus, winning just one of the two will mean a profit on the side’s side. As far as the total, I see goals, goals and more goals in a game – and quite possibly a series – that evolves into a total Pennsylvania shootout. This series should be a very fun one to watch. FLYERS +160, OVER 5 ½.