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Sabres, Flyers on NHL lines

Philadelphia struggled down the stretch in the regular season and now they face the hot goaltending of Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres, who are +140 road underdogs at Bovada for Game 5 of their first-round series on Friday night in NHL playoff betting action.

Miller stopped 35 shots in blanking the Flyers 1-0 in the series opener, while turning away 32 shots in Game 4 for his second shutout of the series, which helped the Sabres knot the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round set at two games apiece.

Chris Pronger may return for the Flyers in Game 5, and that would give their power play a huge boost. Leading scorer Jeff Carter never returned after leaving the last game and he could be a big loss to the struggling Flyers offense.

The teams split the season series and this playoff matchup could also go either way. If the Flyers don’t get the necessary goaltending at home on Friday, and Miller continues to shine, then the Sabres could be a good road underdog wager on the NHL betting lines.

While low-scoring affairs are the norm in playoff hockey, and bettors lean heavily towards UNDER betting, these teams have sent OVER bettors to the payout window in six of the last nine head-to-head meetings in totals betting.

In NHL betting action Saturday the Pittsburgh Penguins have a chance to clinch their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series as a -150 home favorite at Bovada for Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

James Neal scored in double overtime in Game 4 to help the Penguins go up 3-1 in the series, but Tampa will be more desperate with their season on the line. Pittsburgh is getting the upper hand in net with Marc-Andre Fleury coming up with big saves at the right time.

Tampa Bay responded after getting burned in Game 1 in Pittsburgh by cruising by the Penguins 5-1 in the second matchup at Consol Energy Center.

The Lightning proved they can win in the noisy Pittsburgh arena, but they will have to do so as road underdogs on the NHL betting lines if they want to force another game down south. Martin St. Louis has been a key to the Lightning offense along with Steven Stamkos, and the pair must step up to give them any chance of a road upset.