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Free Pick Breakdown & Prediction: Flyers vs. Panthers (10/19/2022)

By Michael Savio
October 19, 2022
Photo by: NHL.com

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Florida Panthers (10/19 @ 7:30 EST)

Puck Line: Florida -1.5
Money Line: Florida -365 / Flyers +285
Total: 6.5

Overview and Betting Odds

Reigning President’s Cup winners, the Florida Panthers (3-1), will be hosting the surprising Philadelphia Flyers (3-0). The Panthers will be seeking to bounce back from a tough loss at Boston on Monday night and take advantage of what is supposed to be a league-worst Flyers team.

The Panthers have dominated the series since 2020, winning four of their six games. They won all three games of the season series last year as well. The Bruins have covered the puck line in their first two games, while Florida has only covered one of their first three.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers entered this season widely expected to be among the worst teams in the NHL. They finished at the bottom of the league last year and struggled to address their many weaknesses in the offseason. It seems John Tortorella has been able to get buy-in from his players, leading them to a stunning 3-0 start. This includes a big win at the reigning conference champs, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

All-star right-wing Travis Konecny leads the offense with three goals and is tied at four points with Tony DeAngelo, James Van Riemsdyk, and Kevin Hayes. Even with veteran Sean Couturier out for the year, the Flyer’s offense has found a way to win games with eleven goals through three games. They’ve gotten offensive production from all their lines, including their blueliners.

On defense, the off-season addition of DeAngelo seems to be paying off. He was added to bolster an awful blueline for the Flyers and has slotted in with Ivan Provorov on their first line. One of the reasons the Flyers brought him in was his ability to generate offense, which he has done so far with a goal and three assists in his first three games.

In goal, the Flyers lost Martin Jones but were able to replace him with Carter Hart. Hart has started and won all three games, but reserve Felix Sandstrom will be in the net on Wednesday.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers had their best season in recent memory last year by winning the President’s Cup but were trounced by the Lightning in the second round of the playoffs. They followed it up by shocking the league in the offseason by trading leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau and top defensemen Mackenzie Weegar for the electric (and young) Matthew Tkachuk.

On offense, there is no shortage of scorers for the Panthers. They have eight players who have scored goals so far, led by Matthew Tkachuk and Colin White, with two apiece. They sport one of the best top lines in the league with Carter Verhaeghe, Aleksander Barkov, and Sam Reinhart, which leaves talented newcomer Tkachuk to lead the second line. This is an offense capable of putting up five or more goals on any night, which we expect to see Wednesday.

While the loss of Weegar hurts this defense, they still have plenty of talent, with Marc Staal and Aaron Ekblad at the lead. They’ve been giving up some shots in their last two games (including five goals to Boston the previous night) and are still trying to gel, but they’re supported by one of the top goalie duos in the league.

Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight combine to form one of the league’s best (and highest-paid) goalie pairings. Bobrovsky is coming off a rough showing against the Panthers (though one goal was an open net) but is expected to get the start tonight.

TakingVegas.com 1* Free Pick: Panthers +1.5

As surprising as the Flyers have been, playing the Lightning and Panthers on back-to-back nights is brutal. Philadelphia’s defense appears to be approved, but it’s doubtful they’ll be able to contain a Florida offense coming in rested and coming off a tough loss. Even if the Panther’s lines aren’t quite in sync, they’ll be facing a tired defense without Hart in goal.

Not a ton of great value here, as bookmakers seem to agree that the Panthers will handle to Flyers. We see the best and safest value in giving up the puck line to roll with the Panthers.

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