Brian Elliott likely to start Game 2 after atrocious opener vs. Penguins

2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Complete first round schedule and results

2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Complete first round schedule and results

It was way more than that. With everyone on the same page, the Flyers are a scary team, and center Sean Couturier has been a difference-maker this season. Escaping the box after taking a needless hooking penalty with the Penguins up a man, Malkin grabbed the puck at the Pittsburgh blue line, galloped past four Flyers and hoisted a backhand past Elliott's blocker for a 3-0 lead.

Keep the penalty-killing mandates to a minimum, and maybe these newly mature Flyers - who nonetheless start several young players in key spots - have a fighting chance.

Mark Schiefele, with a power-play goal, and Patrik Laine also scored for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck made 18 saves.

It was in those final 10 seconds that the Flyers completely abandoned the front of the net and allowed a tic-tac-toe passing play to result in an easy goal. The defense on the Lightning is outstanding as they have star defensive players in Hedman, Sergachev and McDonagh.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS How They Win: Dating back to his University of North Dakota days, coach Dave Hakstol has always gotten better results in the second half of the season.

Elliott Looks Shaky - Surprise! Thus, the playoffs generally feature tight series', and a favorite sweeping an underdog is the exception, not the rule. Elliott stopped Kris Letang's slap shot with his blocker only to see the long rebound go right to Rust, who ripped it over Elliott's right shoulder to give the Penguins the lead 2:38 into the game.

Petr Mrazek was not bad in relief, but the Flyers don't have room for a goalie carousel in the playoffs. The Flyers won those two games as Elliott finished the year with a 23-11-7 record and a 2.66 goals-against-average to go along with his.909 save percentage.

Well, you know, the Jets 2.0. The Preds are loaded throughout their lineup and have more depth than the Avs, most of all in goal with Pekka Rinne.

Both teams each have very good defensemen as the Lightning have Hedman, McDonagh and Sergachev while the Predators have Subban, Josi and Ellis on the blue line. This matchup is a coin flip, because both teams have many things working with them and against them.


NOTES: Crosby's hat trick tied Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for the most postseason hat tricks in franchise history. Malkin scored a goal.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and three assists for Pittsburgh.

His Penguins cracked the vault for seven goals in a blowout beating the likes from which the Flyers might not recover. And that is where the combo of Gostisbehere and Provorov will be so integral. Michael Raffl was a minus-3. That being said, feel free to scream at the television all you want for the next few months. But you can try to discover new ways to take that away from the opposition. They struggle to make on-the-fly changes within a game and from game-to-game. "But we'll see what happens this year with a couple more really good teams being beat out in the second round". It's certainly a big question if they can do that much. "For me, this group is looking down the tunnel at something, and all that other stuff is noise".

According to oddsmakers from online sportsbook YouWager, the Penguins are -190 money line favorites to beat the Flyers, who now are +165 underdogs to pull off a Game 1 upset.

It is a series, not just one game.

For some players, it can be a game-to-game adjustment.

So it is on to Game 2 on Friday, and it needs to be better in every area. Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown will lead the Kings to a six-game triumph over the first-yea expansion team. The Penguins were 4-5 in their previous nine games. The Penguins capitalized on great scoring chances throughout the game.

Many Flyers fans still talk about staying up extra late to watch the Flyers and Penguins battle in Game 4 of the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Flyers didn't have any in the final 40 minutes. On top of needing to win the game, you need to win the war of attrition.

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