Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Pittsburgh Penguins dominate Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1

Pittsburgh Penguins dominate Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1

Sidney Crosby scored three goals, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's on the Flyers now to not only be better, but be prepared for what Pittsburgh brings in response to this Game 1 spectacle.

The first goal, scored 9:01 into the second period, put Pittsburgh ahead 5-0 and chased Flyers starter Brian Elliott from the game. The defensemen in front of Murray turned Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds into a bystander.

Additionally, the Flyers power play was very bad. Vegas just formed a team this year by getting players from teams that wanted to get rid of someone.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the last two Stanley Cups, and are trying to become the first team to win three straight titles since the New York Islanders won four consecutive cups from 1980-83. "I fully stand by what I said (Wednesday) night. It makes it easy to play with this group of guys", Kane said. Hakstol declined to elaborate on his plans Thursday, though he's well aware Elliott's play was not Philadelphia's only issue.

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

Brian Elliott has been pretty dependable all year, but he hasn't looked like himself in three starts since returning from a core muscle injury that sidelined the goalie for almost two months.

"They have really good weapons", Elliott said of the Penguins.

Another loss would put Philadelphia in a perilous spot going home.

The 33-year-old Elliott has had up and down playoff performances in the past, but was rather terrible for Calgary last season, starting four playoff games and finishing at 0-3 with a 3.89 goals-against average and.880 saves percentage. Nothing was generated, and while two of those opportunities came when the game was already way out of hand, a couple of early opportunities in the first period provided a chance to chip away at a lead that was still potentially manageable.

"They did an outstanding job", Hakstol said of the Penguins.

"You have to be a little bit of the aggressor and have that battle mentality, that you're going to go out and, no matter what happens, there's no give up, there's no feeling sorry for yourself". For the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the most highly anticipated first-round matchups, it will be their first postseason meeting since 2013, a historic series you can be sure neither team's fanbase has forgotten. If the Jets can do it twice in three days, they'll have firm control against sloppy Minnesota.

"Sid the Kid" added his second goal with 12:19 remaining in the third period.

Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators enter the postseason with a ton of fanfare once again, but they face hard matchups against divisional foes. Minnesota has won just one series in franchise history after dropping the first two games. Their defense was their worst part of their game past year, but they still won the Stanley Cup, so maybe there offense will be enough to carry them. "But it was a pretty even game after that".

While the Golden Knights have had an explosive offense all year, with five players scoring over 20 goals, the Kings defense is arguably the best in the league.

"We have to go with the same mindset we did a year ago", Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "I'm having a lot of fun right now".

Without question, this season has been quite the roller coaster for Philadelphia when looking at all of the ups and downs this team has experienced, but what took place in Game 1 against Pittsburgh was completely unacceptable. They weren't projected by many to win the game, but nobody expected that. That concludes a run for the expansion-year Knights that includes a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the first round and a 4-3 quarterfinal victory over the San Jose Sharks, whom the simulation says prevail 4-2 over Anaheim.

"I'm not ready to say anything about lineups", Hakstol said.

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.

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