Originally Posted by Killer
1 Wednesday, April 15, 7pm et Flyers @ Penguins
2 Friday, April 17, 7pm et Flyers @ Penguins
3 Sunday, April 19, 3pm et Penguins @ Flyers
4 Tuesday, April 21, 7pm et Penguins @ Flyers
*5 Thursday, April 23, 7pm et Flyers @ Penguins
*6 Saturday, April 25, 3pm et Penguins @ Flyers
*7 Monday, April 27, TBA Flyers @ Penguins
Regular Season Record: 44-27-11, 99 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 2-4
Last Stanley Cup Win: 1975
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 1997
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Mike Knuble (1)
A reason to cheer for the Flyers: The Flyers finished last in the Eastern Conference two years ago with 56 points, they then improved to sixth last year with 95 points, and this season almost reached the 100-point mark. GM Paul Holmgren has turned the ship around very quickly in Philly and all they need is a long, successful playoff run to make it all worthwhile.
What They Bring To The Table: The Flyers are a team loaded with depth on offense. They're one of just two clubs in the NHL to have four players score 30 or more goals in a season (Detroit is the other), with Jeff Carter leading the way. Captain Mike Richards, one of the premier two-way players in the league, led all Flyers with 84 points (12th in the league) and is one of the league's top penalty killers and shorthanded scorers. Simon Gagne returned to form after battling back from a season-ending concussion last year, while Daniel Briere - limited to 25 games this season because of groin problems - is always an offensive threat as long as he's healthy and back on his game. Goaltending has been a big issue with the Flyers, who will likely lean on Martin Biron. The former Buffalo Sabre hadn't even started a playoff game prior to last season, but had a solid postseason campaign and will be looking to build on that.
Regular Season Record: 45-28-9, 99 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 4-2
Last Stanley Cup Win: 1992
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 2008
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Chris Kunitz (1), Bill Guerin (1), Petr Sykora (1), Ruslan Fedotenko (1), Craig Adams (1)
A reason to cheer for the Penguins: The Penguins were just shy of capturing their third Stanley Cup in franchise history last year and nothing short of finishing the job this spring will be acceptable. Those high hopes are remarkable considering that just a couple of months ago, pundits were wondering if this team would even make the playoffs. With new coach Dan Bylsma at the helm and Evgeni Malkin making his case for the Hart Trophy (finishing first in league scoring and leading all Penguins players in scoring for the second consecutive season), Pittsburgh is back in the contenders' conversation.
What They Bring To The Table: While trade deadline acquisitions Chris Kunitz and veteran winger Bill Guerin don't have the same level of talent that Marian Hossa brought last year, they do add plenty of grit and experience while filling the scoring void on the wing that the club needed most of the season. The Penguins also have solid character players like Pascal Dupuis and Maxime Talbot, who are always ready to provide energy and support for the blueliners. The club had to give up a good offensive defenceman in Ryan Whitney, but have enough depth with the return of power play specialist Sergei Gonchar and the emergence of young Kris Letang. Goaltending is everything in the postseason, and Marc-Andre Fleury should be solid in goal if he builds on last spring's postseason run.
Statistical keys to the series
- Pittsburgh ranked 20th in the league on the power play, with a 17.2% success rate. Philadelphia ranked sixth at 22.5%.
- Pittsburgh ranked eighth in the league in penalty killing, with an 82.7% success rate. Philadelphia ranked sixth at 83.0%.
- Brooks Orpik (309), Matt Cooke (262) and Chris Kunitz (207) are the Penguins' leading hitters. Kunitz's totals include games with Anaheim.
- Andrew Alberts (157), Daniel Carcillo (151) and Mike Richards (147) are the Flyers' leading hitters. Carcillo's totals include games with Phoenix.
- Sidney Crosby is the Penguins' top face-off man -- 51.3%.
- Mike Richards is the Flyers' top face-off man -- 49.0%.
- Philadelphia's Jeff Carter ranked second in the league with 46 goals.
- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby ranked first and second in the league with 78 and 70 assists, respectively.
- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby ranked first and third in the league with 113 and 103 points, respectively.
- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin tied for eighth in the league with 14 power play goals.
- Philadelphia's Mike Richards led the league with seven shorthanded goals. Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter tied for fourth with four shorthanded goals.
- Philadelphia's Jeff Carter led the league with 12 game-winning goals. Pittsburgh's Petr Sykora ranked third in the league with 10 game-winning goals.
- Philadelphia's Jeff Carter ranked fourth in the league with 342 shots on goal. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin ranked 10th with 290 shots on goal.
- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin led the league with 94 takeaways.
- Sidney Crosby led the Penguins with nine points in six games against the Flyers this year.
- Jeff Carter led the Flyers with eight points in six games against the Penguins this year.
- Pittsburgh's leaders in power play ice time (per game):
Sergei Gonchar 6:14
Evgeni Malkin 5:33
Sidney Crosby 5:22
Bill Guerin 3:55*
Petr Sykora 3:44
Kristopher Letang 3:35
* Guerin's totals include time with the N.Y. Islanders.
- Philadelphia's leaders in power play ice time (per game):
Kimmo Timonen 4:04
Daniel Briere 3:22
Mike Richards 3:20
Simon Gagne 3:12
Mike Knuble 2:54
Jeff Carter 2:43
Braydon Coburn 2:43
- Pittsburgh's leaders in penalty killing ice time (per game):
Rob Scuderi 3:47
Jordan Staal 3:31
Hal Gill 3:10
Mark Eaton 2:45
Pascal Dupuis 2:40
Maxime Talbot 2:40
- Philadelphia's leaders in penalty killing ice time (per game):
Kimmo Timonen 4:39
Braydon Coburn 3:50
Mike Richards 3:12
Jeff Carter 3:03
Ryan Parent 2:36
Andrew Alberts 2:28