What just happened? Flyers embarrassed by Penguins in Game 1

What just happened? Flyers embarrassed by Penguins in Game 1

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.

After that, well, the most exciting thing that happened was Marc-Andre Fleury juggling a puck. In single game, the tension is palpable, as any sort of mistake or stroke of luck can lead to agony or joy. The Penguins finished the season with the league's top power play at 26.2 percent while the Flyers finished with the third-worst penalty killing in the NHL.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the competition this season and how it could all shake out. Is THIS the Caps' year?

In the Western Conference, the competition seems as tough as ever. Last season, the Nashville Predators swept the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in the first-round. As coaches, sometimes you take it for granted because we've seen it a number of times over the course of a few seasons.

After not making the playoffs previous year, the Flyers are back and ready to face their in-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"The Golden Knights have been very profitable all year".

"The best thing about majority are is the proximity to where they live, the close ones, but I think it needs a good playoff (series) against that individual team to create the rivalry full hand", Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. Coach Dave Hakstol talked about liking the way Elliott read plays and saw the puck, how the Flyers need to do a better job in front of their goaltender, no matter who it is. Fans better hope they didn't peak early when they took over first place in the Metro at the end of February.

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Six years later, it would be foolish to expect the same sort of goonery, but don't be surprised if the Pens and Flyers engage in another constantly entertaining, offense-friendly battle. "For us, it's focus on what we've been doing the last two, three months".

After their magical regular season, the Vegas Golden Knights are ready for their first taste of playoff hockey. The Flyers played well down the stretch to get into the playoffs, but they showed in game one that they are just overmatched in this series, especially here at PPG PAINTS Arena.

But the first goal was the result of a juicy rebound Elliott left for Bryan Rust in the middle of the ice, and while Malkin cut through the Flyers' defense for the third goal in spectacular fashion, the shot itself was one that Elliott should probably stop. Well, at least the finish was overwhelming, and it was thrilling from a Boston point of view while it was brutal from Toronto's perspective. But the Predators screwed around and won the Presidents Cup for having the NHL's best record, just about as big a jinx as you can have. Maple Leaf Gardens needed to clear patrons by midnight because of a Toronto ordinance in effect, according to the Bruins website.

Star centers Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner are all 21 years old or younger, and each scored over 60 points this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for their third straight Stanley Cup but have many question marks coming in. Their roster is loaded, yet they needed help from their cross-state rivals in the final game on the National Hockey League schedule to hold onto top spot in the Atlantic Division.

7 - New teams that weren't in the playoffs a season ago, matching the biggest year-to-year change.

The Washington Capitals, the Metropolitan Division winners, will face the first wild card seed, the Columbus Blue Jackets. There are many intriguing matchups in this first round, but perhaps none as anticipated as the Flyers vs. Penguins series. Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux appeared fatigue after an extended power-play shift and neither guy provided Shayne Gostisbehere with any backchecking help.

"It's one game. Whether it's 7-0 or 1-0 in double overtime, it's one game", said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who had a hat trick in Game 1.

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