Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Penguins rout Flyers in opener

Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT predicts Round 1, Stanley Cup champion Flyers vs. Penguins 2018: Schedule, scores, and live stream for NHL playoffs
Anna Jefferson | 14 April, 2018, 00:39

Murray has endured a hard season both on and off the ice, but had a.923 save percentage in games against the Flyers. Guentzel and Brian Dumoulin each added two helpers for the Penguins and Matt Murray brushed aside 24 shots for the victory. The defencemen in front of Murray turned Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds into a bystander. "Let it go", Konecny said of the message the players gave to each other.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS How They Win: Stop us if you've heard this before, but Pittsburgh has two of the best centers on the planet in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The puck drops Wednesday night in three series, and so the NHL's death march to the Stanley Cup begins. If they don't show some sort of life on Friday in Game 2, the Flyers could be in for a quick series, and not in a good way either.

Offensively, the Penguins dominated, led by Sidney Crosby's hat trick.

To make matters worse, the Penguins did this primarily against the Flyers top two lines that are going to have to defend against them for the entire series.

In Philadelphia, goalie Petr Mrazek held the fort in going 6-6-4 in place of injured starter Brian Elliott. Hakstol declined to elaborate on his plans Thursday, though he's well aware Elliott's play was not Philadelphia's only issue.

The Flyers just had no answers and can only hope that the next game they will comeback to tie the series and take it home to Philly.

Philadelphia returned to the playoffs this spring thanks in part to its resilience.

The Flyers still believe in Elliott, but they may not have much time for him to regain his form.

He seemed to downplay the game stating, "It's a loss", Elliott said. "Guys were excited and were anxious to get going".

Philadelphia opted to try Giroux on the wing this season, and it paid immediate dividends, as the captain recorded a personal-best 102 points and should earn some consideration for the Hart. Elliott went 2-0-0 at the end of the season after returning from surgery, but lost both starts against the Penguins while recording just an.864 save percentage. Make that 0-5 on the year as Pittsburgh took a 1-0 series lead with a 7-0 victory on Wednesday. Good luck with that.

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"I fully stand by what I said last night", Hakstol said.

"We know what kind of team Pittsburgh is; the Stanley Cup champions, play very well", Jake Voracek said. That partially explains how his Flyers went on a stunning run in February after slogging through a 10-game losing streak late in 2017. If the Jets can do it twice in three days, they'll have firm control against sloppy Minnesota.

The Flyers have won four of their six playoff series, including a six-game triumph over Pittsburgh in the first round in 2012, their last playoff meeting. The Wild understand they need to be smarter in their own end.

However, it is only one game.

Two of our favorite weeks of the year - the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs - are starting, me rocking my Nashville Predators hat and JoJo his Tampa Bay Lightning headware. "But it was a pretty even game after that". Boston and Pittsburgh, because I don't want the Lightning or the Predators to have to play them. "We had a lot of energy built of that".

Fleury got his first playoff shutout since last May, when his Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 1-0 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

But it still leaves Hakstol with a big decision for Friday's game. There are no extra-period gimmicks in the playoffs.

Outside T-Mobile Arena in Toshiba Plaza, fans could get real or fake tattoos of the Golden Knights logo, or get their hair cut with a "V" design, while there was also a concert put on by Logic.

Elliott was not interested in using that layoff as an excuse and didn't want to chalk his Game 1 struggles up to still trying to get up to speed.

"It was a physical game, (but) I don't think there was almost as many hits as the stats credited", Los Angeles wing Dustin Brown said. Those of you who remember what channel CNBC is on DirecTV are invited to email me that information.

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