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Islanders vs. Flyers prediction: Bet on both goaltenders to stand tall

Expect a much lower-scoring result when Philadelphia and New York tangle for the second straight game

New York Islanders left wing Mark Martin and Philadelphia Flyers left wing Joel Farabee chase down the puck during Saturday's game in New York. The teams face off again Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Islanders left wing Mark Martin and Philadelphia Flyers left wing Joel Farabee chase down the puck during Saturday's game in New York. The teams face off again Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)Read moreBRUCE BENNETT / Getty Images

It’s been exactly three weeks and 10 games since the Philadelphia Flyers last walked off the ice victorious. In roughly the same time frame, the New York Islanders have recorded eight victories in 11 contests — including Saturday’s 5-2 home rout of the Flyers.

So it’s not exactly breaking news that New York finds itself in second place in the eight-team Metropolitan Division, while Philadelphia is buried in seventh (propped up only by the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets).

Nor is it breaking news that the Islanders will glide into Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night favored to continue their winning ways (and the Flyers’ misery).

Of course, streaks don’t last forever. So is this the opportune time to bet on Philadelphia to emerge from its agonizing funk? Uh, no.

That said, we’re also not interested in backing the Isles at an inflated price (or risk playing them on the puck line). So instead, our Islanders vs. Flyers prediction for Tuesday’s rematch is focused on the total.

Note: Odds updated as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Nov. 29.

Islanders vs. Flyers Prediction

  1. Under 5.5 goals, -108 (at FanDuel)

Islanders vs. Flyers Prediction: Analysis

We considered laying the 1½ goals with New York in this spot, mostly because the Flyers’ last eight losses in regulation — including all seven during their 10-game losing skid — have been by multiple goals.

The problem is, Saturday’s result aside, the Islanders haven’t consistently been curb-stomping opponents lately.

Yes, New York’s first four wins and six of its first seven were multiple-goal triumphs. However, of the Isles’ last six wins, three were one-goal contests. That includes a pair of 3-2 victories in their last two road games at Columbus (in regulation) and Toronto (in overtime).

That leads us to a play on the Under, which might seem odd considering the teams combined for seven goals three days ago. But both teams’ backup goaltenders were in net, including the Flyers’ Felix Sandstrom.

Thankfully for Philly fans, Sandstrom — who has allowed at least three goals in five of his seven starts — should be riding the pine Tuesday. Not that that means the Flyers are in great shape in net. They’re not.

» READ MORE: NHL Stanley Cup odds: Despite slow start, Avs remain solid favorite

Starting goalie Carter Hart has completely fallen on his face since a red-hot start, giving up at least three goals (and 26 in all) in his last seven games. Still, unlike Sandstrom, Hart has had more than a few moments of competence this season.

He’ll be facing an Islanders team that barely ranks in the upper half of the league in the goal-scoring department (3.35 per game, 12th). Hart also has recent success against New York to fall back on: In two games against the Islanders last season, he stopped 54 of 58 shots (including 26 of 27 in a 2-1 home win).

More than Hart, though, we’re bullish on New York netminder Ilya Sorokin. The 27-year-old Russian took Sunday off but should be back in net Tuesday night.

Sorokin has been hot lately, allowing just four goals on 111 shots in his last three contests. All three stayed Under the total: 3-2 at Columbus, 3-0 vs. Edmonton and 3-2 in overtime at Toronto (all wins).

For the season, Sorokin has a sterling 2.0 goals-against average along with a .933 save percentage. Sorokin is a virtual lock to improve on those stats against a Flyers squad that now ranks dead last in scoring.

Philadelphia is averaging a league-low 2.41 goals per game, and its 53 total goals are ahead of only Chicago (52) and Nashville (51). And while the Flyers (shockingly) haven’t once been shutout during their 10-game slide, they’ve scored more than two goals just twice.

If Hart can tighten things up just a little bit — say, only let three biscuits in the basket — we should be able to squeeze out this Under. Because there’s very little chance Philly’s anemic offense pots more than two.

Play Islanders vs. Flyers Under 5.5 goals Tuesday at FanDuel.

Islanders vs. Flyers Odds (via FanDuel)

  1. Moneyline: Islanders (-196) @ Flyers (+162)

  2. Puck line: Islanders +1.5 (+136) @ Flyers -1.5 (-168)

  3. Total: 5.5 goals (Over -112/Under -108)

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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