nsucurrent.com April 26, 2018

How the Philadelphia Flyers can dethrone Crosby, Penguins

15 April 2018, 12:53 | Nina Perez

Michael Dwyer AP

Michael Dwyer  AP

The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins get right into the hatred with a match-up against their arch-rivals from across the state of Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Flyers are finding out what Columbus, Washington, Ottawa and Nashville learned a year ago, that the Penguins' path to the Stanley Cup goes through your goalie.

The reason for the Capitals' playoff disappointments in recent years has been the fact that they have to go through Pittsburgh in the second round.

Giroux had never scored more than 93 points in any season and had been on a downward trend since 2013-14 when he scored 86 points.

In the teams' previous three playoff matchups, the Flyers were dominant. Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux appeared fatigue after an extended power-play shift and neither guy provided Shayne Gostisbehere with any backchecking help.

What is the Flyers vs. Penguins schedule?

How They Lose: Despite Letang's return to full strength, the Penguins have been weak defensively, ranking in the bottom third of the league in goals against.

Could they pick it up in that area in the playoffs?

Matt Cullen and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, and Dubnyk stopped 37 shots.

"You get the odd scrum that turns into a fight and stuff like that, but there's not too much fighting left", Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis said.

There was certainly some risk that Elliott would struggle in those games, games the Flyers still needed to win in order to clinch a playoff berth. Winnipeg is the better team (on paper at home), but Minnesota is no joke, they could easily walk away with a series win if they find a way to slow down this Winnipeg offence.

Each and every game was simulated using the game's Playoff Mode.

If Toronto gets their revenge against Boston, Matthews should be the biggest reason why. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and they've successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all penalties. Philly jumped out to a 3-0 series lead, winning Games 2 and 3 with eight goals apiece, only to allow 10 in Game 4 before advancing two games later. Malkin scored a goal.

It didn't take long for Bergeron to score the victor in overtime, and ruin the hopes of long-suffering Toronto fans. "They get opportunities. For us, it's a matter of limiting those chances and doing a good job of letting Brian see the puck". Crosby will center the first with Malkin centering the second and Kessel playing right wing on the third.

Auston Matthews is a star for the Leafs, but the Bruins have a large edge on the defensive end.

Any skepticism surrounding hockey in Las Vegas was squashed by the Knights (51-24-7), who shattered the record for points by a team in its inaugural season and stayed atop a deep division from December 23 onward. Absolutely no user games were played. In this series, Hakstol's team will have to be extremely disciplined, and they will have to avoid getting into the zoom-around game with the Penguins. Should I be planning on celebrating finishing my finals by going to see the Ducks? The team that led the National Hockey League in points the past two years, the Washington Capitals, lost in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in each. The game wasn't even close as the Penguins won by a score of 7-0.

Last year's Stanley Cup runner-up, the Nashville Predators, had no sort of Stanley Cup hangover, posting the best record in the National Hockey League, collecting 117 points, and winning the Presidents' Trophy. In 2017, the Predators were the last team into the 16-team playoff field and pulled off an historic first-round sweep of Western Conference top-seeded Chicago. It will happen Thursday, when the Sharks open their Pacific Division first-round series at Anaheim.

Here is the first of our daily playoff power ratings.

"I don't think we're looking to fight", Crosby said. Can Caps, Ovechkin finally come through?

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