Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Flyers vs. Penguins: Game 2 Prediction, NHL Playoffs Odds

Flyers vs. Penguins: Game 2 Prediction, NHL Playoffs Odds

The most grueling championship stretch in North American sports begins tonight, as 16 teams in the National Hockey League will compete for the Stanley Cup. In single game, the tension is palpable, as any sort of mistake or stroke of luck can lead to agony or joy. It leaves Dave Hakstol with a decision to make ahead of Game 2, go with the relief netminder who looked a little more stable, or turn back to Elliott.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the competition this season and how it could all shake out.

The Nashville Predators are a favorite to make it back to the Stanley Cup Championship after falling just short last season.

Last season, the Predators lost in the Finals to the Penguins.

Led by media starlet PK Subban and stand-out goalie Pekka Rinne, the Preds posted one of the NHL's best defenses, allowing the second fewest goals in the league. San Jose has been a playoff failure for so many years, but I think they've gotten past that label.

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As pitching coach for Oregon, Roberts helped the team to a 1.82 ERA. "Hopefully this experience will be beneficial", said Reimer. The offensive output would put the Purple Panthers in a commanding situation as they held onto a 10-run lead after one inning.

The other headline opening series in the West features the surprise of the season, the Vegas Golden Knights.

While the Lightning did have the best record in the Eastern Conference, they finished slow. The Jets this year made MTS Centre a place no one wanted to play, ending the year with the best home record in the National Hockey League (32-7-2). In 2017, the Predators were the last team into the 16-team playoff field and pulled off an historic first-round sweep of Western Conference top-seeded Chicago. "So for us it's focus in on that first period and we'll go from there".

The Flyers worked so hard and played so well in the final four months of the regular season that it was hard to fathom them looking so flat, so passive, so overmatched in their playoff opener. Those of you who remember what channel CNBC is on DirecTV are invited to email me that information. You don't just discover speed and skill.

Star centers Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner are all 21 years old or younger, and each scored over 60 points this season. That happens to be the total wins necessary for the team to retain the Stanley Cup for a third straight season. Their defense was their worst part of their game past year, but they still won the Stanley Cup, so maybe there offense will be enough to carry them.

Hopes are high in the Washington Capitals outlasted a stacked Metro Division to take the top spot, but Rocket Richard Trophy victor Alex Ovechkin and his Washington cohorts drew a tough Columbus Blue Jackets team that enters the playoffs after finishing the regular season on a 10-2-2 run. Look for Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos to lead the Bolts over the New Jersey Devils easily.

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A group of third-liners and depth players have played well above expectations, leading to the first playoff appearance by an expansion team.

As has been repeated over and over since it was learned that the Flyers and Penguins would renew their rivalry in the postseason. Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux appeared fatigue after an extended power-play shift and neither guy provided Shayne Gostisbehere with any backchecking help.

This was a one-sided matchup during the regular season, with the Penguins winning all four games over their in-state rivals, beating the Flyers in regulation both times at home while prevailing in overtime in both games in Pittsburgh. This part is complicated. Future Vezina Trophy victor Pekka Rinne was elite this season, their defence was once again top in the league thanks to P.K. Subban and Roman Josi and their offence is just good enough to finish in the top half of the league.

Game 3 at Philadelphia: Sun., April 15, 3 p.m.

Thus, I have convinced myself, for the 10th year in a row, that it is the Caps' year. I'm not letting my heart get broken like that again.

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Russia's ambassador to the United States said Moscow had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences". The Pentagon claims the overnight strikes "significantly crippled Assad's ability to produce chemical weapons".

As mentioned earlier, this series is going to be a close one and it could easily go either way. However, they'll definitely get rolled in the second round by Pittsburgh - you heard it here first.

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