Shea Theodore scored the lone goal of the game for Vegas in the first period, the third playoff goal of the defenseman's career.
Who are the key players?. It was way more than that. Their call? Winnipeg defeats Boston four games to three for Canada's first Stanley Cup champion in 25 years.
Puck control is going to be crucial to this series. The game wasn't even close as the Penguins won by a score of 7-0. Even on the one power-play goal for the Penguins, the Flyers had successfully killed off the penalty to within the final 10 seconds to that point. Crosby's goal was dazzling as he deflected the puck out of mid air and redirected it past Elliott.
Elliott Looks Shaky - Surprise! Last year's playoffs were a disaster for Elliott and they started that way in this game.
Philadelphia's best chance at staying in it came minutes later, but Scott Laughton whiffed on his first attempt from the doorstep and Murray made a sprawling glove save on Laughton's second try to preserve Pittsburgh's lead. "I'm not going to move away for sure from that, but I'm not making any lineup decisions or announcing any lineup decisions (Thursday)". However, the Caps finished the season with a 12-3 record in their last 15 games, and seem to be playing well at the right time.
"I don't think there's ever been a love lost between Toronto and Boston or Montreal and Boston or Philadelphia and Pittsburgh", Laviolette said. Both teams also have very good forwards as the Lightning have Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, J.T. Miller, Brayden Point (and hopefully Stamkos can return for the Bolts to help them hoist that Stanley Cup). It was the the third career playoff hat trick for the Penguins' captain, and his first since 2013 against Ottawa. Malkin scored a goal.
Crosby's linemate Jake Guentzel contributed a four-point night (goal and three assists) and a plus-5 rating. Michael Raffl was a minus-3.
Both teams have the weapons to consistently light the lamp, and considering Pittsburgh's depth and goaltending advantage, it will be paramount for Philadelphia's stars to find ways to create offense. "You don't want something like that to make a difference in a series". You are what you are. They struggle to adjust. The Predators should be able to handle the Avalanche in four games easily as they are stronger at each position and Avalanche starting goalie Semyon Varlamov is injured and won't be available in the first round.
The Flyers scuffled through most of the first, going 0-for-2 on the power play while Elliott looked quite shaky in net. This team needs to be better in Game 2, at least to make it more competitive. But the sports books' biggest losses could be ahead of them.
Time to Regroup - There's no other way to look at it.
However, it is only one game. A brutal month of October was followed by him being one of the bright spots for the team in November and December, before his play dropped off significantly in January and early February.
So it is on to Game 2 on Friday, and it needs to be better in every area.
The Flyers had no answers for Pittsburgh at either end of the ice in the series opener.
What is the Flyers vs. Penguins schedule? The former Vezina Trophy victor can get hot and steal some games for the Capitals.
The Penguins and Flyers have met six times in the postseason, perhaps most notably in the 2008 Eastern Conference Final. The Flyers didn't have any in the final 40 minutes. Either way, supporters crowded the square to take part in the festivities and show which side of Wednesday's game they were cheering for. In every other aspect, the Flyers were outplayed.