PREVIEW: Ilya Bryzgalov will be a spectator on Thursday as the visiting Philadelphia Flyers vie for a season sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Russian netminder nursing a chipped fracture in his right foot, compatriot Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start for the Flyers. Toronto, which is mired in a franchise-worst 10-game home losing skid, was officially eliminated from playoff contention for the seventh straight season.
Philadelphia at Toronto Betting
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 29, 2012
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
TV: 7 p.m., TSN, CSP
The Opening Line is : Philadelphia -1.5 Click here to Bet at Bovada
Philadelphia Flyers (44-24-8): Bryzgalov suffered his injury during warmups prior to Monday’s 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay. He finished the contest and made 10 saves, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury. General manager Paul Holmgren told the team’s website that he doesn’t believe the injury is of a serious nature, and plans for Bryzgalov to return to action this weekend. Bobrovsky won both of his starts this season versus Toronto – including a 24-save effort in a 4-3 win on Feb. 9. That was his lone win in his last six starts.
Toronto Maple Leafs (33-35-9): Toronto hasn’t given its home fans anything to cheer since defeating Edmonton on Feb. 6. Since that victory, the Maple Leafs have posted a 0-7-3 mark at the Air Canada Centre and is 5-16-3 overall. On Tuesday, the fans vented their frustration after watching Toronto suffer its third shutout during its woeful home stretch with a 3-0 setback to Carolina. All-Star Phil Kessel summed up what many Leafs fans are thinking when he said on Wednesday that “it’s embarrassing what we’re doing here.”
1. All-Star Kimmo Timonen has also been ruled out of Thursday’s tilt. The Flyers’ defenseman is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury.
2. Maple Leafs G Jussi Rynnas saw his first NHL action in relief of Jonas Gustavsson on Tuesday. With Gustavsson struggling, the 6-foot-5 Finn may receive his first start before eventually heading back to the Marlies of the American Hockey League.
3. Toronto signed prospect Spencer Abbott to an entry-level deal. The former University of Maine star will join the Marlies for the remainder of the season.
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 4, Flyers 2. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$.