Flyers will likely use same lineup for Game 2 in Pittsburgh

NHL Playoffs 2018

The Colorado Avalanche went from the worst team in the National Hockey League by 21 points to a playoff team in one year. In single game, the tension is palpable, as any sort of mistake or stroke of luck can lead to agony or joy.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the competition this season and how it could all shake out. "He's going to stop it if he sees it". And for perhaps the first time ever, the Jets are a serious Stanley Cup threat. As coaches, sometimes you take it for granted because we've seen it a number of times over the course of a few seasons.

Playoff series in back-to-back years made the Penguins and Washington dislike each other plenty, and they'd meet again in the second round if they advance this year.

The Golden Knights are one of the best stories in National Hockey League history.

"It feels like every game he gives us a chance to win", Maatta said.

While the Lightning did have the best record in the Eastern Conference, they finished slow. 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.

To wrap up the rest of the Western Conference, the Winnipeg Jets and their balanced team bring the right mix of goals and hard-nosed defense against a solid but average Minnesota Wild.

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.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Schedule 2018: Dates, TV Channel, Live Stream For First Round
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Western Conference preview

That was early in the first period. From the Pacific Division, we have Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. Honestly, I don't know how you slow down Kopitar and Drew Doughty. 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. The expansion franchise will try to take a 2-0 lead in its first-round playoff series Friday night.

In Elliot's two games since his return from surgery, the veteran goalie didn't look almost as mobile as he had for most of the season - although some of that was to be anticipated.

You just can't allow Crosby to do whatever he wants. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are lead by a three-headed monster of youth.

DefenseIvan Provorov (9) scored a league-high 17 goals by a defenseman this year.

The chase began almost a year ago, when Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan addressed hundreds of thousands of fans following a second Stanley Cup championship parade through choked downtown streets in as many summers. You can't even call them giveaways, because if you went by the official box score, the Flyers had just seven in the game. Those who pre-order a jersey before the end of that team's first round series will be entered into the drawing for the tickets should that team reach the final.

For quite a while this season, it looked like it might be those two teams in the Stanley Cup finals sometime when the weather gets warmer. Look for Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos to lead the Bolts over the New Jersey Devils easily. The Flyers are 0-5 in the last five meetings with the Penguins. With Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Jakub Voracek, the team is pretty top-heavy and lacks stellar goalie play. This part is complicated.

Philadelphia's players have been penalized 3.4 times per game in total this season, 3.6 per game over their past five contests total, and 3.6 per game over their last five road outings.

Thus, I have convinced myself, for the 10th year in a row, that it is the Caps' year. The Lightning will cut short the Penguins' aim at a three-peat by beating them in the conference finals. The Capitals just have too much star power for the Blue Jackets, who will have their toughest challenge of the season yet in this series.

Bentley Strikes Early, Holds On For 7-3 Win Over Baseball
They cashed in on five of their ten hits in their first at bat to touch home five times for a lead that wouldn't be challenged. With the game tied at three and Levi Harper on first base, Bryce Leonard ripped Aaron Bollinger's pitch to deep center field.

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