It is Stanley Cup Playoff time, and the Nashville Predators are not just any time. The Devils don't have much to counter with, as they only have Hall who tallied 93 points in the regular season and nearly nothing else other than him. "But Wayne (Simmonds) and Jake and (Sean Couturier). we've had success here". It was way more than that. Instead, those players who are on teams that didn't make it will be just like all of us, watching the playoffs from their couches.
Puck control is going to be crucial to this series.
Special teams are never more crucial than in playoffs. Rust is one of Pittsburgh's depth players who contributes constantly. Ovechkin led the league in goals with 49, but will this finally be the year that he leads the Capitals to the finals?
Guentzel also had a four-point night, with a power play goal and three assists. Shea Theodore's goal at 3:23 of the first period stood as the game's only goal as the Golden Knights took a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings in their first-ever postseason game. Don't forget: Pittsburgh managed to win the Cup previous year without its No. 1 defenseman for the entire playoff run.
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. As a series gets longer, teams tweak their game plans and players follow suit.
How They Lose: Despite Letang's return to full strength, the Penguins have been weak defensively, ranking in the bottom third of the league in goals against.
For proof, look no further than the most recent names etched on hockey's most coveted chalice. Philadelphia's top unit is undoubtedly risky, with Giroux, Voracek, and Gostisbehere landing seventh, ninth, and 10th, respectively, in regular-season power-play points. Giroux scored a hat trick against the Rangers to help punch the Flyers' ticket to the postseason. Late goals from Milan Lucic and Bergeron tied the score before the end of regulation and turned TD Garden into a cacophony of noise.
You can't measure experience, but it definitely plays a factor in the playoffs. Toss in the usual excellence from captain Claude Giroux and playmaking winger Jakub Voracek and you've got the makings of a potent offense.
Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov need to steal the show. Michael Raffl was a minus-3. All you have to do is click the link below to sign up and watch all the Stanley Cup hockey you want. But you can try to discover new ways to take that away from the opposition. They struggle to adjust. Look closer, however, and things are tighter than they seem. Defensively, the Flyers is yielding 2.9 goals and 75.8 percent penalty kill per game. It's certainly a big question if they can do that much.
0 - Times Minnesota and Winnipeg have faced each other in the playoffs.
It appears Philadelphia wasn't quite ready for the back-to-back champs in the opening game of their series on Wednesday, as the Penguins came out of the gate hot and thumped the Flyers with a 7-0 blowout.
Outgunning Crosby & Co.is a tall task, but Philadelphia enters the postseason with one regulation loss in its last 10 games, with Giroux earning 19 points in those contests.
If Nashville continues its dominant style of play into Game 1, it is going to have no problem dealing with Colorado's top-heavy attack led by Nathan MacKinnon.
Maybe it's because Winnipeg scores a bunch of goals at home (3.80 G/GP) and not as many on the road (2.85 G/GP), or it could be because Minnesota is elite at home?
Holtby started all four of the regular-season meetings with Columbus, as he let in 11 goals, including four in the last game between the two sides February 26.
The Flyers had another crack at the Penguins in the 2009 playoffs.
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