Flyers vs. Senators NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Ottawa Holds Value at Home (March 17)
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Sanford
- The Senators are slight home favorites on Friday night against the Flyers.
- Both teams have been struggling and are likely due some changes ahead of the trade deadline.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Flyers vs. Senators Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Philadelphia Flyers travel to Ottawa on Friday to take on the Senators in the second game of a back-to-back. This is the second time these teams will face off, as the Flyers won 4-3 in overtime back in December. The Senators come in as slight favorites.
Philadelphia hasn’t had it easy this season as it has been hounded with injuries throughout the season. The boys on Broad Street have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, including a win last night against the Predators at home.
If someone asked you to describe the Senators’ season, I suggest you try to change the topic. Ottawa expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, and it’s been quite the opposite. The Senators have gone 2-8 in their last 10, including three straight losses.
Flyers Busy Ahead of Trade Deadline
Claude Giroux is expected to be traded before the trade deadline and did not travel to Ottawa as general manager Chuck Fletcher works out a potential deal. The Flyers will also be without key players like Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, Scott Laughton and Samuel Morin. Philly does have some key players like Cam Atkinson, Travis Konecny, and Joel Farabee, but it’s feeling the heat.
Philly has really struggled on the offensive end, and driving play isn’t one of its specialties. The Flyers rank 29th in expected goals with a 44.8 xGF% and do a poor job at creating high danger chances. Even with the man advantage, they can’t create much, as they only score 13.5% of the time.
It’s not a surprise given their place in the standings that the Flyers are not a very good defensive team. They allow 3.42 goals per game as well as a boatload of high danger chances. To top it all off, they’re abysmal on the penalty kill with only a 75.6% success rate.
Since Carter Hart played against Nashville Thursday night, I expect Martin Jones to take the crease. The veteran netminder has been a fine backup for the young Hart, posting a .900 SV% and a -4.3 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).
Senators Dealing With Injuries
Like the Flyers, the Senators have been battered with injuries as well. Their No. 1 defenseman, Thomas Chabot, is out for the season, while Drake Batherson is out for another week and Tim Stützle is listed as day-to-day. That means the Sens will need to rely on their big guns in Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Connor Brown.
While Ottawa has been better at driving play than its counterparts, it’s hardly the model franchise as it only scores 2.64 goals per game. The Senators rank 25th in expected goals with a 46.58 xGF%, and don’t generate a ton of high danger chances. The power play isn’t much to write home about either, only scoring at an 18.3% clip.
While there is some talent on the blue line, Ottawa can certainly be better on defense. They’re 19th in allowing high danger chances, as well as allowing 3.27 goals per game (22nd). When down a man, they’ve held it down well with a 79.8% success rate.
Anton Forsberg is starting to solidify himself as a legit goaltender. The Swedish netminder is posting great numbers behind a porous defense, posting a .916 SV% and a +5.6 GSAx. Backup Matt Murray was recently placed on the IR, and will probably be out for the season. That leaves backup duties to Filip Gustavsson, however, I’d expect Forsberg to get the nod.
Flyers vs. Senators Pick
Ottawa has been playing like the worst team in the league lately, and will look to get off the snide. On the flip side, Philadelphia is coming off a highly emotional game Thursday night, likely Giroux’s last as a Flyer.
The Flyers head into this matchup with a 7-15-5 record on the road, so it seems like a perfect storm that the Sens get their revenge. I also expect Philly to come in gassed from Thursday night as it prepares for a long stretch of its final 22 games.
Pick: Ottawa Senators ML (-120)