Flyers Drop Series Opener To Bruins 5 4 In Shootout

The Boston Bruins will look to push their season record to 5-0 SU against the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday night under the stars of Lake Tahoe.

The puck drop was pushed back more than five hours because the NHL wanted to avoid the same poor ice conditions that affected Saturday’s game. So just like last night, we’re getting an outdoor game under the lights.

With most gimmick games, NHL betting fans should tread lightly as many factors make this game unique, but NHL odds have the Bruins as a heavy -175 favorite with the total set at 5.5 and shaded to the Under.

Here are our free picks and predictions for Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins for Sunday, February 21 (7:30 p.m. ET).

Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins betting preview

Weather

Located nearly 6,300 feet in elevation, Lake Tahoe will be the backdrop for Sunday’s outdoor game. Temperatures are expected in the mid-30s at game time with a near-zero precipitation factor and low-to-medium winds of 9 mph with gusts up to 18 mph.

Injuries

Flyers: Travis Konecny F (Out), Scott Laughton F (Out), Oskar Lindblom F (Out), Jakub Voracek F (Out), Claude Giroux F (Out), Justin Braun D (Out).

Bruins: Kevan Miller D (Questionable), David Krejci F (Questionable), Matt Grzelcyk D (Questionable).

Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Boston is 4-0 SU against the Flyers this season but just 1-3 ATS. Find more NHL betting trends for Flyers vs. Bruins.

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NHL sharp money and line movement report

By Patrick Everson

FanDuel pegged Boston a -194 favorite Saturday night for tonight's outdoor game on the shores of Lake Tahoe, and the price got as low as -186 and as high as -198 before returning to the opener this afternoon. As of 4:30 p.m. ET, ticket count and money are both running about 2/1 on the Bruins. The total opened 5.5 (Over -130), and the price has now flipped to Under -130, with 53 percent of bets/66 percent of money on the Under. 

Check out the full line movement for this game

Moneyline pick

The Flyers limp into Sunday’s outdoor game missing a plethora of important players. Four of Philadelphia’s Top-7 scorers will likely miss the Lake Tahoe experience with Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux out. In total, five of the team’s Top-9 forwards will miss the meeting with the Bruins, meaning Philly will have to ask for lots of minutes from guys who aren’t used to it—and at 6,300 feet in elevation, it could have adverse effects.

The Flyers will also be playing just their second game since February 7 as COVID protocols kept them off the ice for nearly two weeks. The shorthanded Flyers were severely outplayed by the Rangers on Thursday, despite losing 3-2 in the shootout. Now the juggled lines of Alain Vigneault’s team has to face a Boston squad that has beaten them four times in as many tries this season.

Boston is 4-0 SU against the Flyers this year and has outscored them 17-9. Sunday’s starting goalie, Carter Hart, is 0-3 against the B’s this season and has surrendered at least four goals in each game with 14 total pucks getting past the young netminder. The Bruins will go with goalie Tuukka Rask, who will be making his first start since Feb 13. Rask is used to time off and is 4-1-1with a 2.28 goals-against average on three-plus days of rest, and he is also 3-0 against the Flyers this year.

Boston sits atop the East Division with a 10-3-2 record and has taken 19 of a possible 24 points over its last 12 games. They may play a lot of one-goal games (11 of 15), but they know how to win them.

At -175, there isn’t much meat on the bone for a Boston ML but at -120 for a win in regulation – against a beat-up Flyers squad –  we can dig it. The Flyers’ ML +155 is a great price for a game in an unfamiliar environment, but the injuries are just too significant and far-reaching.

PREDICTION: Boston 3-way ML (-120)

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Over/Under pick

Playing outside comes with its own set of conditions. Both goalies had trouble picking up the puck early yesterday as the backdrop behind one side of the ice is a vast mountain range. But despite these difficulties, the ice was the bigger problem with bouncing pucks and players habitually losing an edge throughout the game.

The intermissions were also much longer than usual as ice repairs were needed between periods. This adds to the lack of flow to the game that already has long breaks between whistles.

The Bruins haven’t hit an Over since their last game against the Flyers back on February 3—a span of six games. They allow the fewest shots against, which has helped them rank second in the league in goals against per game at 2.20.

Shots aren’t considered a great metric to judge teams’ outputs, but you can’t have goals without them. Philadelphia generates the fewest shots on net in the league at 23.6 and its league-leading shooting percentage of 13.1 percent is due for regression as the league average is somewhere around 8.5 percent. The Flyers struggle to even get pucks toward the net, with the league's worst Fenwick numbers supporting that.

Yesterday, on the same ice, both Colorado and Vegas failed to score with a man advantage as power plays went 0-for-10—including a Colorado 5-on-3. Making crisp passes on this surface looked difficult at times and with that, we can’t back the Over.

While still at 5.5, this total has hit 5 at some books as of Sunday morning. If the juice is too much, one live strategy could be to wait for an early goal as goalies adjust and then hit the Under. After the Avalanche scored the first goal inside of five minutes yesterday, the live total moved to 6.5 at even money for the Under.

PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-130)

Flyers vs Bruins betting card

  • Boston 3-way ML (-120)

  • Under 5.5 (-130)

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