Philadelphia Flyers: 3 factors to consider for playoff series against Penguins

Philadelphia Flyers: 3 factors to consider for playoff series against Penguins

Can the Nashville Predators get back to the Stanley Cup Finals?

"I'm a strong believer that if a team is going to maximize its potential and contend for a championship, the first rule of thumb Is to become a team that doesn't beat itself", he said. Hulu will serve as an exclusive marketing partner and official sponsor of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final this year, and hockey fans will be able to stream the games live from their favorite devices.

The 2017-2018 Colorado Avalanche have made it to the playoffs, and they wouldn't be there without Jonathan Bernier.

Now moving over to the Atlantic Division, the (1) Tampa Bay Lightning will be taking on the (2nd wild card) New Jersey Devils.

The other Eastern Conference teams will play Thursday. If ranking teams 1 through 8 in each conference like the old format that was in place from 1993-94 through 2013, the No. 2 seed is facing the No. 4 seed, 3 versus 7, and 5 versus 6 in the first round in the East and the West this year. The Washington Capitals feel like they don't have a lot of pressure on them this season because they didn't win the Presidents' Trophy. Perhaps having Philipp Grubauer in goal ahead of playoff bust Braden Holtby will help.

Nashville finished seventh in the league with 261 goals without any player scoring 30.

This year, it came down to the wire as one of the biggest matchups last night being the St. Louis Blues vs. the Colorado Avalanche; if the Avs won in regulation, they would punch their ticket into the playoffs, but if the Blues won in regulation or if the game was tied after regulation, the Blues would be. Goaltending is much different now than it was in that series. The goaltending matchup in this series will be Brian Elliott and Matt Murray. The Maple Leafs weren't exactly the team they are now, but he wasn't doing himself any favors. Pittsburgh was at 91.0% which is at the bottom of the league and Philadelphia's was 92.4%, good for 14th.

"For whatever reason it was just a wild series and you won't see anything like that for a really long time", Crosby said.

"They have all the pieces", Philadelphia center Claude Giroux said. Both offenses are capable of putting the puck in the net at any moment. If there's concern, Stamkos hasn't been fully healthy and told the team's website "my body will never be 100 percent again".

Elliott, whose teammates call him "Moose", returned to the lineup and was shaky in a 4-3 win Thursday over Carolina, then had to make only a few hard saves as the Flyers suffocated the Rangers on Saturday, 5-0, and clinched a playoff spot.

After the regular season, Mark Letestu gets a grade of a C level acquisition; while he has contributed well in someways he is not a game changing player. But after six years in Edmonton and now in his second with New Jersey, Hall broke out with a 93-point season - 41 more than his closest teammate.

The final matchup of the first round is another rivalry and a trip to the past as the (2) Boston Bruins will take on the (3) Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto's young lineup featuring Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander earned valuable experience in last spring's first-round loss to the Washington Capitals, while Boston's roster led by veterans Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara is battle-tested. The Bruins have some injuries, but they have a very good defense and promising rookies ready to step up. It was a run Nashville began against Chicago in becoming the first team to sweep a No. 1 seed in the opening round since the current playoff format was set in 1994. The pick: Boston in 7. The first modern expansion team in North America's four major professional sports leagues to finish first in its division in its inaugural season, Vegas faces a tough challenge in the battled-tested Kings. The Avalanche have nothing to lose - considering they weren't expected to make the playoffs - and this could factor into how serious the Preds take them. Anaheim usually plays well at the end of the season and heading into the postseason. He was their best player for parts of this season and will be playing with Derick Brassard when the playoffs start.

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