Penguins Trying to Three-peat in National Hockey League

The Philly Sports Podcast: The Battle Of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins)

Now they try to become the first team in almost four decades to win a third consecutive Stanley Cup title, with Crosby and his crafty braintrust of Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and perhaps a stronger supporting cast than ever before, relishing their luck. because what better opponent for the first round than those same Flyers they've spent the past few years beating and re-beating?

There was certainly some risk that Elliott would struggle in those games, games the Flyers still needed to win in order to clinch a playoff berth. After the type of surgery Elliott required, any goalie would be anxious about his ability to stretch and make a save, and every shot he faced in those games was a reminder that he's closer to 100 percent than he believes. He didn't, and he even stole a few games when the Avs weren't scoring. This is a series that could come down to a battle of stars - Alex Ovechkin vs. Artemi Panarin - and goaltending. Let's take a look at a preview of this series. This is a series where I don't think we're going to be picked by a lot of people going into it. They both have calmer demeanor's. Those players are in the midst of outstanding seasons. Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek each had career-best seasons next to him. He's a Selke trophy favorite and he's likely to get the matchup against the Sidney Crosby line. The Flyers, however, have evolved from a preseason pick to finish dead last to one of the scariest teams to play against in the league.

The Lightning might have Nikita Kucherov, but the Devils have Taylor Hall. Not to mention Connor McDavid.

The Penguins scored the fourth-most goals in the league this season. "They have good defensemen that can join the rush, they're a really good team". He's an outstanding playoff performer. The Predators' balanced attack is fueled by a group of speedy, playmaking defensemen who combined for a league-best 206 points (56 goals, 150 assists). Paced by Eric Staal, Minnesota had a great start to the second half of the season, but has slowed a bit in recent weeks. He has 93 points in 63 career games against the Flyers.

In other words, the combination of efforts from defensive partners Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere will go a long way in determining if the Flyers can stop the Penguins in a series that starts Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. And just like in 2016, Philly surprised everyone by making the playoffs. "It says how tight it is and we knew that with basically five teams that were pretty tightly matched, that it could work out a lot of different ways".

Goaltending is crucial in every playoff series but in this one, it's going to be massive. Despite goalie struggles for both clubs Pittsburgh's Matt Murray is looking to stand tall against the Flyers' Petr Mrazek, who was a mid-season trade from the Detroit Red Wings. With his injuries and of course his father passing away.

After appearing in just 31 games in Chicago, Kempny played 22 in Washington while securing a role alongside Norris Trophy-candidate John Carlson. The Penguins are going to get the matchups that they want with home ice in the first two games and they'll also get the matchups they want defensively to shut down Philadelphia's top-end talents. He'll surely want to bounce back after last years playoff performance while starting for the Calgary Flames. If they lose, and even they lose because Bernier wasn't good, I can't complain. It has clicked along at a league-best 26.2 percent success rate. While the season series may have been split equally at 3 games to 3 games, the Jets outscored the Wild 16-14, so again a very close matchup, but with the young talent Winnipeg has in Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, they have some awesome offensive chemistry.

Good idea, since the Flyers' penalty kill ranked an ugly 29th this season. But the Avs are a speedy team from what everyone saw in the regular season. Veteran backup Ryan Miller, who has plenty of playoff experience, will get the call if the Vezina contender is unable to go. Mostly, they've survived. And the Flyers have noticed.

This series is going to be high-scoring but it won't be a bloodbath like it was in 2012.

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