The Pittsburgh Penguins thrashed the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 in the opening game of the series, but can the Flyers bounce back and tie this series before going home for Game 3?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Pittsburgh Penguins have put the world on notice after a dominating Game 1 win, demolishing the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 while Sidney Crosby recorded his third career playoff hat trick.
Right from puck drop the game was not even close, with Bryan Rust scoring the first goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs just 2:38 into the contest. The Penguins just ran away with it from there. Evgeni Malkin put the Flyers defense through the spin cycle to make it 3-0 late in the first, and Sidney Crosby buried the final three goals of the game for a natural hat trick to make it 7-0.
Wednesday night was an absolutely horrendous excuse of a performance from the Philadelphia Flyers, and one they need to rectify right away. They looked emotional, confused and just downright outmatched by the defending champions. They weren’t projected by many to win the game, but nobody expected that. The game was at least supposed to be respectable. Brian Elliott let in five goals on 19 shots, but head coach Dave Hakstol made it clear that they’re sticking with him in Game 2. Because the Flyers being stubborn about goalies in the playoffs has never come back to bite them before, right, Steve Mason?
If anything, the Flyers can’t play that terribly again, but even then that’s not saying much. Expect more of a game this time around, but the Penguins just have the Flyers’ number. Every matchup this season Pittsburgh has put up five or more goals, and just holding them to less than that might be something the Flyers can pride themselves on and maybe build on before going home for game three.
Philadelphia will put up a fight this time, but the Penguins power play likely lights up poor Brian Elliott again, and Phil Kessel posts a three point night to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 series lead and a full head of confidence as they head to Philadelphia.
Game 2 Prediction: Penguins defeat Flyers 4-2