Flyers travel to Arizona to face a streaking Coyotes team

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The season turned over its halfway point for Philadelphia (22-14-5), as they will travel to Arizona (23-16-4) for Game 42 of the season. Coming into this game, the Coyotes have won two straight games.

On the flip side, Philadelphia is traveling to their fifth game of a six-game road trip. They will look to salvage their first win since beating the Ducks back on December 29th.

Catch the game at 8 p.m. EST with coverage beginning at 7:30 on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Flyers are +140 Moneyline underdogs with the over/under set at 5.5 goals.

Road Trip Woes

So far, the Flyers are 1-3 during this six-game stretch, where they travel the entire country. During this trip, they have allowed at least five goals in the three loses on the trip, and the defense has looked completely out of sorts. To add more fuel to the fire, Carter Hart has struggled mightily on the road. His numbers away from Wells Fargo Center have been beyond concerning:

SplitValueGPWLT/OGASASVSV%GAA
PlaceHome141112213933720.9471.49
PlaceRoad14281422892470.8553.84

On this trip specifically, the Flyers as a team have not offered Hart much help, however. They have scored a lackluster 2.5 goals per game, compared to 4.25 goals against. Hart will be between the pipes for the Flyers on Saturday, looking for his first win on the road since Nov. 1.

Know Your Enemy

Arizona Coyotes

This game serves as a potential rebound game, as the Coyotes have not been as good at home compared to the road. Their record of 10-10-1 at Gila River Arena is toward the bottom of the league as far as home records go.

So far this season, the Coyotes have struggled to score. Their 122 goals for ranks in the bottom ten of the NHL. So, enter a blockbuster trade.

Back during mid-December, Coyotes general manager pulled off a move that brought Taylor Hall to Arizona. Since making his Coyotes debut eight games ago, Hall has two goals and five assists, serving as a solid complement to Phil Kessel.

Typical starting netminder Darcy Kuemper suffered a lower-body injury about two weeks ago, reliving duties to Antti Raanta. Raanta has received a bulk of the starts since Kuemper went down with an injury. Raanta has won his last two starts, making 38 saves on 39 shots against St. Louis on Dec. 31 and stopping 26 of 28 shots against Anaheim on Thursday.

Raana is the expected starter Saturday night. On the season, he is 8 -8 -2, allowing 2.76 goals per game and a .918 save percentage.

Key to the Game:

Score First

Arizona has yet to win a home game in which their opponent scores first. Overall, they have only won six games (6-12-3) where their opposition finds twine before they do. To tag along with that, the Coyotes are 0-4-0 when trailing after the first period.

On the flip side, the Flyers shine when scoring first, going 15-6-2 so far this season. Philadelphia will need to come out hot early if they want any chance of winning this game. Arizona does not score often, so scoring first and keeping momentum will be the key to winning this game.

Prediction

Okay, I have had confidence in the Flyers nearly every game this trip. Whether it was fan bias or not, they continued to let me down each game, including the Ducks game.

However, this time, my confidence is solidified. The Flyers will win this game, and carry momentum before traveling to Carolina. They will not only win this game but beat the Hurricanes as well to salvage this road trip.

The path to splitting this six-game trip starts by beating Arizona, which the Flyers will do easily.

Philadelphia scores first and wins 4-1.

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