The hugely struggling Philadelphia Flyers, who recently fired their coach, make their lone visit of the NHL season to Las Vegas on Friday night. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Friday, December 10, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at T-Mobile Arena
Teams in opposite conferences play twice every NHL season and Friday is Philadelphia’s lone visit to Las Vegas. The Knights will play in the City of Brotherly Love on March 8.
The teams didn’t play last season because of the unusual divisional setup due to the pandemic. They have split six all-time meetings on the NHL picks – every season series finished 1-1. Vegas lost the first two at home but won the last one 5-4 on Jan. 2, 2020.
Max Pacioretty, still a key member of the Knights, had two goals. Sean Couturier scored twice for the Flyers. The goaltenders that night were Marc-Andre Fleury for Vegas, who is now with Chicago, and Carter Hart for Philadelphia, and Hart should start Friday.
Flyers May Be East’s Biggest Flop
The massively disappointing Flyers fired Coach Alain Vigneault on Monday in the third year of his five-year contract worth $5 million annually. Philadelphia also fired assistant Michel Therrien, a former NHL head coach himself. Another assistant, Mike Yeo, is the interim head coach. He was a former coach of the Wild and Blues and probably will be given a shot at the full-time job if Yeo can turn things around.
Alas, the coaching change hasn’t helped matters as the Flyers are 0-2 under Yeo and on a 10-game skid following a 3-0 loss in New Jersey on Wednesday – the Devils entered on a four-game slide. About the lone bright spot for Philly was that forward Derick Brassard returned to the lineup after missing the past six with a hip issue.
Injuries have wrecked this team with the two most important guys still out being winger Joel Farabee (seven goals, three assists) and defenseman Ryan Ellis (one goal, four assists). Claude Giroux leads the team with 21 points and there’s talk he’s on the trade block. The Flyers are near the bottom of the NHL in scoring (2.33 gpg) and in scoring defense (3.33 gpg). That’s not good.
Friday is the front end of a back-to-back for the Flyers so that might affect the goaltending choice, but we will assume it’s the No. 1 Carter Hart. He stopped 24 shots on Wednesday and is now 5-8-3 on the season with a 2.90 GAA and .911 SV. If it’s not Hart, it will be Martin Jones (3-4-1, 3.41 GAA, .908 SV). Not sure it matters.
The Flyers are 0-7 at BMR’s top-rated books in their past seven after scoring two goals or fewer in their previous game.
Knights Finally Getting Whole
Vegas had been hammered early this season by injuries and COVID but is mostly healthy now and could be ready to take off. The Knights are +200 on the NHL futures odds to win the Pacific Division. That’s a very deep division this season with Calgary, Anaheim, and Edmonton all good teams as well.
The Knights won their third straight Wednesday, a wild 5-4 victory over Dallas, which entered on a seven-game winning streak. Robin Lehner allowed three goals on just 10 shots before being pulled, and backup Laurent Brossoit made 12 of 13 saves to earn the win. I think it will be Brossoit in this one as he has been better overall with a 5-1-0 record, 2.41 GAA, and .921 SV. Lehner is 10-9-0 with a 3.11 GAA and .906 SV.
Dallas was up 4-2 about midway through the third period. Mark Stone’s second goal of the game and third of the season tied it at 14:47, and Max Pacioretty won it at 15:54. Both of those guys missed a large chunk of time earlier injured. Pacioretty extended his point streak to six games and has five goals and four assists in that span. Jonathan Marchessault scored in his 300th game as a Golden Knight and is the first player in franchise history to play 300 games with the team.
One negative from Wednesday’s game but likely a fluke was that Vegas allowed three power-play goals, only the sixth time in franchise history that happened. The Knights were tied for the eighth-best penalty kill in the NHL entering Wednesday’s game at 83.8 percent but are now down to 21st at 80.3 percent. Vegas needs to be good on the PK because it stinks with the man advantage at 13.6 percent, third-worst in the league. Vegas is 10-4 in its last 14 versus the Eastern Conference and it will extend the Flyers’ misery for at least one more game.
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