Preview: Flyers @ Penguins (Game 2)

Updated: April 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm by Matt Brauckmann

I don’t really think anyone had any words for Wednesday night’s debacle in Pittsburgh.

That being said, if there was ever a time for the Flyers to start with a clean slate. It’s tonight. Things arguably can’t get any worse than they were the other night, but the Flyers will have to be on top of their game if they want to bring this series back to Philly tied at 1

REGULAR SEASON STATS

Flyers (42-26-14, 98pts) @ Penguins (47-29-6, 100pts)

TOP 3 SCORERS (Regular Season)

PHILADELPHIA

Claude Giroux 34 goals, 102 points

Jakub Voracek 20 goals, 85 points

Sean Couturier 31 goals, 76 points

PITTSBURGH

Yevgeni Malkin 42 goals, 98 points

Phil Kessel 34 goals, 92 points

Sidney Crosby 29 goals, 89 points

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

Penguins won 4-0-0 (Flyers 0-2-2)

Nov. 27 @ Pittsburgh – Penguins 5-4 (OT)

Jan. 2 @ Philadelphia – Penguins 5-1

March 7 @ Philadelphia – Penguins 5-2

March 25 @ Pittsburgh – Penguins 5-4 (OT)

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: NBCSN

LISTEN: 97.5 The Fanatic

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)

Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations

Despite some harsh opposition to the decision from fans, Dave Hakstol made the decision to keep the lineup the same as it was in Game 1. That decision could very well make or break the Flyers season.

On one side of the argument, changing the lines around would be akin to a knee-jerk decision after one really bad game. On the other hand, the Flyers may have needed a lineup change to compete with the Penguins speed and stay out of the box.

Brian Elliott will also get the start in net. That decision also comes as a bit of a surprise considering he hasn’t played all that well since coming back from injury, leading some to believe he may not be feeling 100%. Mrazek also has put up great post-season numbers will Detroit.

Giroux – Couturier – Raffl

Lindblom – Patrick – Voracek

Konecny – Filppula – Simmonds

Laughton – Lehterä – Read

Provorov – Gostisbehere

MacDonald – Sanheim

Manning – Gudas

Elliott

Pittsburgh: Penguins Line Combinations

The Penguins would almost be foolish to change anything around in their lineup. Crosby had a natural hat trick, the team put up 7 goals, and the Flyers really had no formidable offensive chances past the first period.

They will roll out the exact same lines as Game 1 in an effort to take this series back to Philly with a 2-0 lead.

Guentzel – Crosby – Rust

Hagelin – Malkin – Hörnqvist

Sheary – Brassard – Kessel

Kuhnackl – Sheahan – Aston-Reese

Dumoulin – Letang

Määttä – Schultz

Hunwick – Oleksiak

Murray

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

The one strong suit the Flyers had going coming into the playoff was their power play. Although they were officially ranked in the middle of the pack, their first unit is lethal with the man advantage. They failed to generate even a single shot on net while up a man in Game 1. That has to change. If the Flyers are going to win this series, special teams are going to need to carry them, and Wednesday’s game was not the ideal start.

Brian Elliott has to return to mid-season form and fast. The entire team was sloppy and didn’t come ready to play in Game 1, but two of the first three goals were very stoppable pucks. If the Flyers would have gone into the second period down by a goal, that could have ended up an entirely different ballgame.

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Dave Hakstol’s coaching style over the course of this season, but Game 1 really exemplified how outcoached the Flyers were. The Penguins came out with all the energy in the world. More telling was the fact that some of the Flyers sound defensive players were making mistakes and just looked flat out lost. Couturier had several bad turnovers, Giroux was a -4, Gostisbehere couldn’t hit the net, and nearly all of the Flyer shots came from above the top of the circles. There was no drive toward the net. Hakstol made no inkling of a goalie change until the game was out of reach, Brandon Manning led the Flyers in even-strength time on ice, and the Flyers ended the game with their timeout unused. Mike Sullivan did a great job in that game, whereas Dave Hakstol’s team was shutout for the 3rd time in 7 playoff games. It has to be better.

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