Flyers vs. Blackhawks Odds & Picks: Monday’s Betting Value on Philadelphia
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
- In a battle between two teams at the bottom of the NHL standings this season, the Flyers and Blackhawks go head-to-head in Chicago.
- While Philadelphia has struggled this season, it has recently found some promise.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and explains why she's backing the road team.
Flyers vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
In the lone game on the NHL schedule on Monday, the Philadelphia Flyers will visit the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
With both squads far out of the playoff picture, this contest won’t be mistaken for the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. But it’s the only game in town for NHL bettors on Monday.
Here’s the latest on both squads, and your best bet for the game.
Bright Spots for Flyers?
With three games left in their season, the Flyers are coming into Chicago on the second half of a back-to-back set. They’re also riding their first two-game winning streak since early March, after taking down the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-1 home-ice win on Sunday.
In net, Martin Jones got the win against Pittsburgh, stopping 37 shots. That should mean that Felix Sandstrom will get his fourth-career NHL start against the Blackhawks.
With an 0-2-1 record and a 3.29 goals-against average, the 25-year-old Swede is still looking for his first big-league win. But his 4.5 goals saved above expected suggests that he has been solid despite difficult circumstances, stepping in after Carter Hart was shut down for the season.
In front of Sandstrom, the Flyers’ lineup is awash with call-ups and newly-signed college players, filling in for a litany of injured regulars.
Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis were long ago shut down for the year. More recently, they’ve been joined on the injured list by forwards Cam Atkinson and Patrick Brown, along with defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen, Cam York, Nick Seeler and Kevin Connauton.
With plenty of changes expected over the summer, the youngsters are doing their best to make a good impression. They’ve done just that in the last two games, as the Flyers have outscored their opponents 10-4.
Straight out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Noah Cates has four points in the last two games, while 2017 first-rounder Morgan Frost has three.
It’s a rare bright spot for a club that’s parked in 29th place in the NHL standings and is just 3-7-0 in its last 10 games. During that stretch, the Flyers have scored 2.9 goals per game, but allowed 4.1.
At 5-on-5, their expected goals rate through that stretch is a respectable 50.19%, right in the middle of the pack. But their special teams have been brutal, with a 73.1% success rate on the penalty kill and just two power-play goals to go along with two shorthanded goals allowed.
That gives them a net power-play success rate of zero.
Blackhawks Ending Rough Season
The scene is similarly disheartening around the once-mighty Blackhawks, who are stumbling toward their fourth playoff miss in the last five years.
Chicago sits 27th in the league standings — two points ahead of Philadelphia — and is just home from a three-game road trip, which yielded an overtime win over Arizona and losses to L.A. and San Jose.
With a 2-7-1 record over their last 10 games, the Blackhawks have scored 2.30 goals per game while allowing exactly 4.00. Their expected goals rate of 45.82% ranks eight spots below Philadelphia’s, and their special teams aren’t great either — 71.4% on the penalty kill and 12.1% on the power play.
In net for Chicago, Collin Delia left Thursday’s game against the Kings after suffering an injury, but he was healthy enough to back up Kevin Lankinen on Saturday.
With a day off between each of the Blackhawks’ three remaining games, Lankinen could play out the string.
He’s had a tough year, with a .886 save percentage and minus 24.8 goals saved above expected. And Lankinen has allowed three goals or more in each of his last six starts, but has carried most of the load for Chicago since Marc-Andre Fleury was dealt away at the trade deadline.
On the injury front, Connor Murphy and Jujhar Khaira are on injured reserve, while forwards Kirby Dach and Mackenzie Entwistle are listed as day-to-day with shoulder issues.
Flyers vs. Blackhawks Pick
In early March, the Flyers scored two third-period goals to come back and beat the Blackhawks 4-3 at Wells Fargo Center.
On Monday, Chicago has home-ice advantage and should be a bit more rested, especially since Philadelphia will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set.
But the Blackhawks have also just traveled home after playing three games in four nights out west. Fatigue could also be a factor for the home side.
Also, the Flyers’ humble winning streak is a rare cause for celebration, especially after a disciplined takedown of their cross-state rivals from Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Look for Philadelphia to hit the ice at the United Center with some jump on Monday night, setting the stage for Sandstrom to secure his first-career NHL win.
Pick: Flyers moneyline (+115); play down to +100
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