NHL First Round Preview

NHL First Round Preview

There they can stand on the sidewalk with a good view of the projector-screen TV the team likes to set up outside the arena, a perk for regular Joe and Mary Penguins fan who didn't spend that week's paychecks for a pair of tickets. And the bragging rights, owned by the Penguins right now, will definitely be fresh in the Flyers players and fans minds. Bernier played well this season, but he won't be able to Jaroslav Halak his way to the Western Conference Finals (If you didn't get the reference, go back to the Habs 2009-10 playoff run and watch some highlights). The Avalanche became only the 13th team in the last 43 years to finish last overall and make the playoffs the next year. The Flyers last played the Penguins in the postseason following the 2011-2012 season, when the Flyers won in six games. But, just as Crosby and the Penguins bring out the emotions in Flyers fans, they also get under the skin of the players. His stat line for the season is right around league average, and for a team that finished 10th in scoring, that was just right. They have all the pieces on paper. "It will definitely be an intense series, we know that".

Storyline: Will history from five years ago repeat itself?

Even though the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins reside in the East, the West is the more tasty conference when it comes to contenders this spring.

Storyline: Can the Flyers be the ones to stop the possible three-peat? Games 3 and 4 will be at home at Prudential Center in Newark. "You can get two high seeds playing each other in the first round or the second round and perhaps that's not fair but I think ultimately it's good for the game to have heated playoff series against teams that don't like each other and see each other a lot".

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The Columbus Blue Jackets were the most likely option, but there was also a chance that the Penguins could draw the Philadelphia Flyers or New Jersey Devils, all of whom had games that day. They were indeed, winning 5-1 in a game that essentially began and ended with Giroux clocking Crosby with a clean check that sent him flying and rendered him generally ineffective. The Devils should be scared of them because... the Devils have won six fewer games?

Even though they didn't make the playoffs, for example, I fully expect the New York Rangers to be on this week, and since I'll have a choice of several games being played simultaneously, I imagine the Penguins and Flyers will be low on my priority list (familiarity breeds contempt?). You're going to have to see a team like that eventually. "It was probably not like any other series, where usually it's tight and defensive". The Predators' balanced attack is fueled by a group of speedy, playmaking defensemen who combined for a league-best 206 points (56 goals, 150 assists).

The Blue Jackets also have the second best goals against per game in the Eastern Conference.

After appearing in just 31 games in Chicago, Kempny played 22 in Washington while securing a role alongside Norris Trophy-candidate John Carlson.

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Both the Sharks and Ducks hold top-five penalty-killing units this league, which puts an added amount of stress upon 5-on-5 play. It has clicked along at a league-best 26.2 percent success rate. Can Crosby tie Patrick Roy's record with a third Conn Smythe Trophy?

"Tomorrow, we'll be embarking on the most exciting and unpredictable time in sports with the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs", said Keith Wachtel, NHL Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President. There's a real knowledge that, as a team, we have to go out individually and collectively and earn our way.

"You'd think that'd nearly be a third-round series kind of thing, but so be it", Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said. The Penguins' top-ranked power play could feast on the Flyers' 29th-ranked penalty kill.

This is the first post-season meeting between to the California rivals since 2009.

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"I think sometimes the emotions take over", Couturier admitted.