NHL Hockey Betting: Philadelphia Flyers at Ottawa Senators

NHL Hockey Betting:  Philadelphia Flyers at Ottawa Senators&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Rodney Dangerfield thinks that the Ottawa Senators aren’t getting enough respect here. The Sens are one of the pleasant surprises of the NHL season so far and are tied for the third best record in the East with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re 5 points back of the NHL leading Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division race and have been getting excellent goaltending from Craig Anderson. They’ll have to deal with the situation as he takes another leave of absence to be with his ailing wife but they’ve got some decent backup options. If you’d had told me that the Senators would enter December with a top ten defense I would have told you to have your head examined. All is not rosy, however, as the offense has sputtered a bit. Actually, it’s sputtered a lot–they’re tied for #27 in the league with Vancouver putting up just 2.26 goals per game. They have a horrible power play and a decent penalty kill. Translation–the Senators are winning with defense and no one expected that to happen.

The more things change the more they remain the same in Philadelphia. The Flyers score a ton of goals (3.08 per game, #3 in the NHL) but can’t keep the puck out of their own net (3.25 GAA per game, second worst in the league). The goaltending situation is a mess–Michal Neuvirth is injured, Steve Mason (who’ll probably get the start here) has been marginal at best (6-8-3, 2.96 goals against, 0.898 save percentage) and Anthony Stolarz is unproven. Ottawa will give the start to backup Mike Condon–y’all remember him from his admirable effort at filling the impossible to fill skate prints of Carey Price in Montreal last season. Condon is 2-1 with a 1.76 goals against average, a 0.943 save percentage and one shutout. Not bad.

Both teams have a brutal schedule on deck. After this game Philadelphia returns home to play four of their next six at home with visits from Chicago, Florida, Edmonton and Dallas. Their two road games will take them to Detroit and to face one of the best home teams in the league, the Nashville Predators (8-1-1 at Bridgestone Arena). After this game Ottawa hosts Florida before playing at Pittsburgh and then heading out West for games against San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Ottawa won 3-2 at Philadelphia on 11/15/16 and no reason to think they can’t do it again here.


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