Happy Tuesday, folks!
My apologies for the lack of NHL picks over the last week. The NHL All-Star game combined with the berth of my son didn’t present much opportunity to get some picks out, but I am back today to get us some profits to kick off our week.
Many NHL teams are still on break as there are just a trio of games tonight after only two games last night, but I have my eye on a matchup that should be able to deliver a profit this evening.
*Odds courtesy of Bovada
A couple of Metropolitan Division clubs feeling real good about themselves at the moment collide tonight in NYC as the New York Rangers play host to the Philadelphia Flyers.
After a 3-1 home win over the Jets coming out of the break last night, the Flyers have now won four straight games, a run that has them out of the Eastern Conference basement, albeit still 12 points shy of the second Wild Card spot in the east.
Carter Hart got the win in last night’s contest as his wonderful rookie season continues, but that means that Hart will give way to Anthony Stolarz for tonight’s contest. Stolarz was technically down in the AHL on a conditioning stint as of late and the 25-year-old hasn’t seen any NHL action since way back on December 15th when he allowed two goals on four shots to get an early hook in a loss to the Canucks.
Overall this season, Stolarz has produced a brutal 3.90 GAA and .880 Sv% across seven starts and nine appearances at the NHL level. He hasn’t been much better in the AHL this season, posting a 3.58 GAA .901 Sv% across five games this season.
Stolarz will also be running into an offense that was rolling heading into the All-Star break. The Rangers averaged 4.50 goals per game across their last four contest heading into the break, three of which resulted in wins.
The Rangers have won three straight overall and four of their last five to get themselves into respectable positioning in the east, however they too have the slimmest of postseason hopes at the moment, sitting nine points back of the second Wild Card spot with the Hurricanes and Sabres still in front of them.
While the Flyers are turning to a backup tonight, the Rangers will do the same as Alexander Georgiev will make his 14th start of the season in place of mainstay Henrik Lundqvist.
Georgiev has been spectacular at home this season where he’s posted a 1.89 GAA and .931 Sv% this season, but those numbers have been summoned from a small sample size of four starts and five appearances. Overall, the 22-year-old has posted a 3.43 GAA and .895 Sv% across 13 starts and 16 appearances in the NHL this season.
Like Stolarz, Georgiev has seen AHL action this season as well. Also like Stolarz, he hasn’t fared well at all in the minors as he has posted a poor 3.66 GAA and .883 Sv% across 11 AHL contests on the campaign.
His matchup also reflects that of his counterpart Stolarz in the sense he will also be taking on an offense that has been producing at a high rate of late. After scoring three goals last night, the Flyers have averaged 4.75 goals per game over their last four, all of which resulted in wins.
While the Rangers are a top ten defense at home, I don’t yet trust the young Georgiev to maintain that unsustainable pace at home, especially against an offense that’s coming in hot. I also want to note that the Flyers rank 25th with 3.76 goals against per game on the road, and combined with Stolarz getting tonight’s nod in goal against a hot offense, I expect the Rangers to find the back of the net consistently this evening,
The Rangers have also been playing in some high-scoring affairs at home of late as the over is 5-0 over their last five at MSG. The over has also hit in three of the last four meetings between these two clubs on broadway.
It’s a real soft goaltending matchup tonight with some hot offenses to boot, so I am looking for a high-scoring affair from the world’s most famous arena in this one tonight.