The final month of the regular season in the NHL is going to be more than a little crazy, with the battle for playoff spots already beginning to heat up. Seeing teams duke it out for the Wild Card spots in each of the conferences is always fun, but we are also seeing some great divisional races going on right now. It’s beginning to look as though the Boston Bruins are going to skate off with the President’s Trophy for the best record in the league, but the other divisions are still up for grabs. In the Metropolitan Division, it looked as though we were going to see the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins pull away into a 2-horse race, but the Penguins have fallen off the pace and the Philadelphia Flyers are now hammering down the home stretch and looking as though they could potentially get their noses in front. The Flyers will be at home on Thursday night to face the Carolina Hurricanes in a game that has pretty big playoff implications. The Flyers are favored by 1 ½ on home ice, with the goal total for this one set at 6.
When: Thursday, March 5 at 7 PM EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
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Why bet on the Carolina Hurricanes
Last season, the Carolina Hurricanes finished the season strong enough to sneak into the playoffs. They made the most of their time there, making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final before falling to the Boston Bruins. They may need a similar finish this season to get back into the postseason, as they are now sitting 3 points below the playoff line, albeit with a game in hand to the #8 seed. The bad news for Carolina is that they are heading in the wrong direction at the moment, as they have now lost 3 in a row to fall to 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. Carolina has a decent road record this season, going 16-12-3, but they have dropped 2 of 3 to the Flyers this year, including a 4-1 loss in their last visit to Philly.
Why bet on the Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have been good all season long, but they are now in a position where they look as though they have stepped it up a gear at the perfect time in the season. The Flyers come into this one a 7-game winning streak, a run that has taken them to 39-20-7 on the year. That gives them 85 points and leaves them just a single point back of the Washington Capitals at the top of the Metropolitan Division, with both teams now having 16 games left to play on the season. The Flyers have been nothing short of brilliant at home, going 23-5-4 in their own building, which includes a run of 5-straight wins on home ice. In their last 9 home games versus the Hurricanes, the OVER has hit 7 times.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Carolina Hurricanes need a win in the worst possible way, but given the way that Philly are playing right now and how they have played at home all season, I don’t see that win coming. I am taking Philly to win and cover.
Carolina Hurricanes 2 Philadelphia Flyers 5