Flyers vs Capitals Prediction & Pick (Friday, March 1)

Flyers vs Capitals Prediction & Pick (Friday, March 1) article feature image

Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyson Foerster.

Flyers vs Capitals Prediction & Pick

Friday, March 1
7 p.m. ET
NHL Network
Flyers Odds-145
Capitals Odds+122
Over / Under
-110 / -110
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Philadelphia Flyers vs Washington Capitals on Friday, March 1 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Capitals will look to respond from a horrid 8-3 loss Tuesday in what is their most important game of the season. A win in regulation would put Washington only four points back in the race for third in the Metropolitan Division with two games in hand.

Flyers vs Capitals odds have the Flyers as -145 favorites on the moneyline while the Capitals are +122 (at Caesars Sportsbook). The game total over under is set at 6.

I'll dive into Flyers vs Capitals prediction below and consider why sharp money has come in on the Flyers, as well as give my favorite Flyers vs Capitals pick.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers finished the month of January with five consecutive regulation losses, and received official confirmation that No. 1 goaltender Carter Hart would be out of the picture. Everybody was finally writing the Flyers off, and the third spot in the Metro seemed ripe for the taking for teams like the Capitals, Penguins and Islanders.

John Tortorella's side pushed back against the doubters yet again, as they came out of the All-Star break in excellent form and posted a 7-3-1 record in the month of February. The Flyers played a to a 52.80 xGF% during that span, which ranked 10th in the league. It's also impressive that all seven of their February victories came inside of regulation.

The biggest concern for the Flyers moving forward is going to be their goaltending situation, as Sam Ersson is projected to be a weakness relative to other playoff teams. Ersson has played to a +5.4 GSAx and .901 save % in 33 games, though, so it's not like he has necessarily been a consistent flaw.

Ersson will likely get the start tonight in this important matchup, though Felix Sandstrom is back up from the AHL and expected to get a chance soon.

While Tortorella has done an excellent job with the team and is surely part of the reason many of the forwards are having the seasons that they are, I do continue to make the case that he is working with a far greater pool of talent than many people realize. The Flyers are expected to remain without their leading scorer in Travis Konecny tonight, who was sidelined with an upper body injury February 21st versus Chicago.

In his absence, several Flyers forwards have stepped up with strong performances. Tyson Foerster has been skating on the top line and top power-play unit, which has led to four goals and five points since the loss of Konecny. He has averaged 19 minutes of time on ice in those three matchups.

It looks like Cam Atkinson will remain a healthy scratch for this matchup, which should be a viewed as a positive for the Flyers. Atkinson has been the most underachieving player to regularly skate in the top six and get power-play time this season, and having those minutes go to guys like Foerster, Bobby Brink and Morgan Frost instead is a positive.

Jamie Drysdale and Rasmus Ristolainen will miss this contest on the back-end. Losing Drysdale isn't ideal for the Flyers, but we saw for half of the season that this team is capable of achieving success without him. A top four compiled of Travis Sanheim, Cam York, Nick Seeler and Sean Walker should still provide the Flyers a great chance in this game.

Washington Capitals

Tortorella and Peter Laviolette are garnering all of the credit inside of the Metropolitan division for their work with the Flyers and Rangers, but what Spencer Carbery is doing with the Capitals is criminally underrated.

The Capitals have essentially got nothing in the way of meaningful contributions from their former stars this season due to a combination of injuries and age, yet are on pace to surpass the results of last season's team.  Skaters such as Aliaksei Protas, Connor McMichael, Anthony Mantha and the now injured Martin Fehervary have taken drastic steps forward compared to what they were under Laviolette last year.

The Capitals have been in solid form themselves, as they played to a 5-4-2 record in February amid a tough schedule. They played to a 50.42% expected goal share and had visibly sharp performances against tough opponents like Boston, Tampa Bay and Vancouver.

Considering the amount of Hershey Bears making regular appearances for the Caps, you have to give Carbery a lot of credit for having his side even loosely in the playoff mix.

Fehervary, Nic Dowd and T.J. Oshie will remain out of the lineup for this matchup, which actually means the Caps' injury situation is better than it has been recently as Sonny Milano and Nick Jensen are set to return.

Strong goaltending from Charlie Lindgren is another key reason that the Capitals have hung around in the playoff race. He has played to a +4.3 GSAx and .908 save % across 28 appearances this season.

(Hockey fans: North Carolina sports betting will soon be online. Get the latest news.)

Flyers vs. Capitals

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Flyers have displayed a better process recently and have considerably more NHL talents remaining in the lineup compared to what Carbery is working with. Carbery has done a great job of getting the most out of his group recently, aside from the Detroit game, but I do feel in time the Capitals are going to trend downward.

One of the things Tortorella is doing that makes me like Philly tonight is getting Foerster and Frost more involved and scratching Atkinson, who has been one of few Flyers who has been truly bad this season. The Flyers were a clear +EV bet for me at their opening price of -110, but the current best number available of -142 is outside the threshold of where I would play.

I do believe there is still some value left targeting Foerster props, though. He remained on the top line and top power-play at practice, and in those roles I believe he will garner a single point more than 52% of the time. The Capitals provide a better-than-average target as well, and I think he will look dangerous yet again in this matchup.

Splitting a unit on him to record 0ver 0.5 points at -105, and to record over 2.5 shots on goal at +120 is my favorite way to attack this matchup.

Picks: Tyson Foerster Over 0.5 Points -(105 at DraftKings; Play to -110); Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (+120 at DraftKings, Play to +110)

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