Flyers vs Penguins Preview and Free Pick – February 18th 2013

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins
When: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 7:35 ET

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If you are betting on hockey this year, then you are keeping a close eye on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins think that it finally has the answer in goal with veteran Tomas Vokoun being brought on board just prior to this season. Whatever Stanley Cup magic goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had is gone and the Penguins can no longer wait around for Fleury to figure out what his problem is. Vokoun is fitting the bill and the Penguins appears to be a Stanley Cup contender again this year. But only time will tell if this Pittsburgh team has what it takes to head to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Even the online poker players don’t understand what kind of games the Philadelphia Flyers is playing in goal. The Flyers brought back Brian Boucher for the third time in his career and allowed Sergei Bobrovski to head off to greener pastures. Despite his eccentric, and sometimes divisive, behavior, Ilya Bryzgalov is still the man in the nets for Philadelphia. Bryzgalov is having another inconsistent season and the Flyers cannot figure out why it is fighting for its playoff life instead of sitting on top of the Atlantic Division. Until Philly really addresses its goaltending issues, it will always have a problem winning key games.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The sports betting experts are not surprised that the Pittsburgh Penguins is the second highest scoring team in the NHL. What is surprising is how inconsistent the team has been on defense this season. Vokoun has had to come up big on more than one occasion to rescue a Pittsburgh team that has put the focus on offense and left much of its defense behind. It is a dangerous style of game that the Penguins is playing and it will require Vokoun to stay hot if Pittsburgh wants to do well in the playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers

The sportsbook enthusiasts are just not seeing the kind of performance from Bryzgalov that it needs to see to have confidence in the Flyers as a Stanley Cup contender. The shame of it all is that the Flyers’ offense is playing some pretty good hockey and putting points on the scoreboard. But, in some cases, that scoring is going to waste as the defense and Bryzgalov continue to give up goals at key moments in the game. The Flyers has never addressed its goaltending issue properly, and that is haunting the team this season.

The Bottom Line

The Penguins will come out firing at home and put the Flyers on the defensive immediately. Unfortunately, the Flyers on the defensive is not the way that Philadelphia can win hockey games. Philadelphia will grind this one out and probably keep it close, but the Penguins come away with the win in this one. Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins