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NHL Game Preview for Sunday March 18, 2012: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Written by Michael Gordon   
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 08:25

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers OddsSport Betting Overview
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not been waiting for Sidney Crosby to make his triumphant return to the NHL. Evgeni Malkin has put the Penguins on his back and carried Pittsburgh to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are chasing the best team in the conference, the New York Rangers, for the first spot in the division and the first spot overall in the conference. But the Penguins are in hot pursuit. There is no talk of the March Madness odds in Pittsburgh as every sports fan is fixated on seeing where the Penguins finish in the conference and how the Penguins will play in the playoffs. When you add Crosby into the mix, everything gets that much more interesting.

The Philadelphia Flyers have always been an interesting mix of personalities. The team lost its captain Chris Pronger to injury early in the season and will not have Pronger returning any more this year.

The price per head bookie experts also took note when starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov took himself out of this year’s Winter Classic because he said it was too cold to play. The Flyers are not challenging for a spot in the top of the Atlantic Division, but the team is also not anywhere near in danger of losing its playoff status. But Philadelphia needs some momentum going into the playoffs if it wants to have a chance at making another run at the Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh Penguins
A betting sports picks review of the Penguins’ season to this point shows that Pittsburgh is third in the Eastern Conference in scoring. One can only speculate how unstoppable the Penguins would be if it had a healthy Sidney Crosby all season. After a shaky start, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has steadied his play and is giving the Penguins confidence in its goaltender. But it is Malkin that is making the difference and it is Malkin that is driving the team towards a playoff run. The Penguins finished last week with a nine-game winning streak and is looking to close the gap with the Rangers. This Pittsburgh team will be very dangerous going into the playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers seem to be no further ahead this year than it was last year. Philadelphia brought in Ilya Bryzgalov to stabilize the goaltending position and all he has done is given more time for Sergei Bobrovsky to improve. The Flyers’ defense is slow and that often shows up at an excessive amount of shots on goal. The NBA trade rumors are flying in Philadelphia as the 76ers look to make the playoffs. The Flyers made their trades in the off-season and now fans are wondering if the right decisions were made to make this a better team.

The Bottom Line
Two divisional rivals clash in what should be an epic battle. But the Penguins are just too powerful and the Flyers are too unpredictable to expect this game to be as competitive as it should be.

BSN Sports Free Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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