NHL: Penguins start Stanley Cup Playoffs hot vs Flyers

NHL: Penguins start Stanley Cup Playoffs hot vs Flyers

After all the crap that's been said about Taylor Hall, it sure will be nice to see him lace up the skates for the first time in the playoffs after playing in 529 regular season games.

Who are the key players?

. We just have to find an answer coming next game. It was way more than that. The Penguins allowed 176 goals in 5-on-5 play this season, which was fifth-worst in the National Hockey League and the worst among any team in the playoffs.

Puck control is going to be crucial to this series. With Sidney Crosby on the Penguins, you sometimes forget how great of a player Malkin really is.

Special Teams - On paper, it was not a bad night for the penalty kill.

Crosby scored three straight goals, two deflections and a rebound, including a pair in the third period to reinforce the message as the Penguins trounced the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 at PPG Paints Arena.

Additionally, the Flyers power play was bad.

Grubauer has only appeared in two playoff games, starting one of them which was back in 2015.

Elliott Looks Shaky - Surprise! Duncan Keith was the last Spartan to win the Cup as he claimed his third with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 while also taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

That's what you get when you rely on Brian Elliott and Petr Mrazek. Given the difficulties that inherently come with an expansion team's inaugural season, it's very rare to see them make the playoffs, let alone win their division. Two of their goals were against Couturier's line.

Petr Mrazek was not bad in relief, but the Flyers don't have room for a goalie carousel in the playoffs.

Panthers fall to first-place Brahmas, 8-1
The bats were swinging and connecting in a way they haven't thus far this season for the Princeton baseball team against St. Caroline Chivily '19 got things started for Hamilton with a two-out single to left field in the bottom of the third.

There's a lot of hockey left to be played, and even more Game 1 action tomorrow. Philadelphia's top unit is undoubtedly unsafe, with Giroux, Voracek, and Gostisbehere landing seventh, ninth, and 10th, respectively, in regular-season power-play points. And, they have depth unlike any other team.

Crosby continued his dominance of the Flyers with a hat trick on Wednesday night. Late goals from Milan Lucic and Bergeron tied the score before the end of regulation and turned TD Garden into a cacophony of noise.

Guentzel also added three assists for the Penguins, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Penguins have the experience, skills, players and talent to go all the way. "Whether it's 7-0 or 1-0 or double overtime, it's one game". Sidney Crosby's team has won the past two Stanley Cups and have their eyes on a three-peat. Shayne Gostisbehere has shaken off his sophomore slump, giving the Flyers a mobile blueline to jump-start the rush. Michael Raffl was a minus-3.

"You guys are talking about sort of all the details and it's just things that we can't be thinking about", Giroux said quickly after an early skate Wednesday. But you can try to discover new ways to take that away from the opposition.

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said the game looked just as lopsided when he reviewed it on video.

While the Lightning has struggled down the stretch, they will just be too much for the Devils. They were tight games. The Flyers have gone 20-22 on the road and they have averaged 2.95 gpg and have allowed 3.00 gpg in those games. But the sports books' biggest losses could be ahead of them.

But even with Elliott operating at maximum capacity, the Flyers will have their hands full with a Penguins team that won all four contests against them this season, scoring five goals in each game. But hey, it's only one game. Marleau scored 27 goals for the Maple Leafs, including five on the power play and five game winners.

Game 2 is Friday night in Winnipeg. 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.

In order to get there, the Penguins will have to beat a veteran Philadelphia Flyers team. The former Vezina Trophy victor can get hot and steal some games for the Capitals. And the Penguins frustrate the Flyers so much time and time again that there are occasional bursts of physical nastiness. The Flyers didn't have any in the final 40 minutes.