- The Pittsburgh Penguins open the 2021 NHL season with a cross-state trip to Philadelphia to face the Flyers
- All three of the games between these two teams last season were won by the home team
- Philly has won two straight home games over Pittsburgh, see the betting odds and analysis below
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will clash for early-season bragging rights in the Keystone State as the NHL campaign launches for both clubs on Wednesday.
Home cooking proved tasty last season when these two clubs met. In three games, the home team won each time. The favorite was 2-1 on the moneyline and the over also held a 2-1 advantage.
The Flyers are the -117 chalk over the Penguins, which is a change in the usual order. Pittsburgh was favored in all three games against Philly last season.
In fact, it’s the first time in 15 Pittsburgh-Philadelphia games that the Flyers are the favorites.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers Odds
|Pittsburgh Penguins||+100||+1.5 (-275)||O 6 (-109)|
|Philadelphia Flyers||-117||-1.5 (+220)||U 6 (-112)|
Odds taken Jan. 12th at DraftKings.
Game time Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center is 5:30 PM EST. NBCSN is carrying the broadcast.
A Changing Of The Pennsylvania Guard
The Flyers finished fourth overall in the NHL last season. Philadelphia was 41-27-7, good for a .645 winning percentage.
Pittsburgh was right behind them in the fifth spot. The Penguins ended the COVID-19 shortened regular season 40-23-6, with a .623 winning percentage.
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) January 12, 2021
What was unique about that outcome is that it was marking the first time since the 2010-11 season that Philadelphia had ended the season ahead of Pittsburgh in the final standings.
The East Division is loaded with talented young netminders. Two of them figure to be on display in this game.
Carter Hart's not settling for second place. #NHLFaceoff
— NHL (@NHL) January 11, 2021
Philadelphia’s Carter Hart, 22, was eighth in the NHL last season with a 2.42 goals-against average. Right behind him in ninth at 2.43 was Pittsburgh’s, Tristan Jarry.
Jarry, 25, was also eighth in the NHL in save percentage at .921. As well, he ranked eighth in the league with three shutouts.
Philadelphia released its 23-player roster on Tuesday and the inclusion of two names on the active list is a very positive development for the team. Forwards Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick are both good to do.
RETWEET IF YOU'VE MISSED NOLAN PATRICK pic.twitter.com/67ImH1UUU5
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 11, 2021
Center Patrick was the second player chosen in the 2017 NHL Draft. He missed all of last season due to a migraine disorder. He hasn’t played a game since April 2, 2019.
Lindblom held a share of the team lead in goals last season when his year ended after a diagnosis of bone cancer. He is cancer-free and good to go.
Not to beat a dead horse, but the inability of Kasperi Kapanen to be in Pittsburgh for camp and miss valuable time to practice with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel — it’s already having negative impact on Penguins.
— Rob Rossi (@Real_RobRossi) January 10, 2021
Penguins forward Kasperi Kapanen, acquired from Toronto in the offseason, will miss Wednesday’s opener while he completes his COVID testing protocol. He was late getting his immigration paperwork, delaying his arrival in Pittsburgh.
Pens forward Zach Aston-Reese is also out following offseason surgery on his left shoulder.
Philadelphia suits up the NHL’s youngest team. Flyers captain Claude Giroux dropped below a point per game last season for the first time since 2017. Jakub Voracek scored 12 goals in 69 games.
Pittsburgh stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang are all 32 or older and show a lot of miles on their odometers. Pittsburgh’s depth is nowhere as strong as it used to be. The Penguins won’t be able to count on much offense at all from their bottom six forwards.
Crosby on playing in the NHL as a veteran: "I don't think too far ahead. I don't try to think about age too much. It's a competitive league. I still love it just as much [as when I started]. I'd love to play as long as I can."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 11, 2021
The over is 9-5-3 in the last 17 Penguins-Flyers games. However, the under has cashed in nine of Pittsburgh’s last 15 games and in 13 of Philadelphia’s last 19 games.
Philadelphia finished seventh in the NHL in goals per game (3.29). Pittsburgh was 10th overall (3.20).
Malkin: "I miss hockey, a lot. We haven't played in a long time. It's exciting to be tomorrow in Philly."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 12, 2021
Philly is the #6 betting choice in the Stanley Cup odds at an average betting line of +1633. The Flyers were the NHL’s #1 faceoff team (54.6%) and were also the stingiest in the league when it came to allowing shots on goal (28.7 per game). The Penguins were 28th in the NHL in faceoff wins (48.9%).
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers (-117)
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