The top player performances in NHL playoff history

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"You don't want something like that to make a difference in a series". It was way more than that. After challenging the Washington Capitals last postseason, the Leafs showed that they have the potential to be a National Hockey League playoff staple for the next decade, and could win a few Cups along the way.

The series will go down to the wire, with Columbus hoping young star Artemi Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky could get the job done. Don't forget: Pittsburgh managed to win the Cup previous year without its No. 1 defenseman for the entire playoff run. The penalty kill, on the other hand, is a glaring weakness, and that's not a good sign once those post-season nail-biter games come around.

It was in those final 10 seconds that the Flyers completely abandoned the front of the net and allowed a tic-tac-toe passing play to result in an easy goal. Even their much maligned penalty-killing unit was ideal, killing off all four power plays without allowing a shot against.

Pittsburgh was 5-for-13 with the man-advantage in its four games against Philadelphia, including 4-for-8 in the final three.

Elliott Looks Shaky - Surprise!

"It's pretty clear we're the underdogs (in the series)", Giroux said. Brian Elliott was rocked in game one and he is now 15-23 in the postseason in his career.

We also did a full season simulation back in October that correctly predicted nine out of the 16 playoff teams, if you'd like some follow-up reading.

Brian Elliott got the start for the Flyers but lasted just 29 minutes before being pulled. Peter Mrazek is now in goal.

In his three games since he returned from his injury, Elliott has been slow to react laterally and looks as if he needs time to round into his old form. "I didn't know if we would be". The Washington Capitals are never on their game in the playoffs, even with their stacked lineup. So I thought it'd be fun to give my prediction for each series, and predict who will win it all! However, although they have been successful, they will be challenged in the first round when they face off against a Los Angeles Kings team that counters all their strengths. And yes, we know Sidney Crosby notched a hat trick and his team scored a touchdown and kicked the extra point in their 7-0 victory. Malkin scored a goal.

Crosby, as usual, has gone through his fair share of wingers this season, but enters the playoffs on a line flanked by Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel.

As they did through most of the regular season, the Penguins will use forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel on separate lines. "I was awful, I made a lot of bad plays". Michael Raffl was a minus-3. But you can try to discover new ways to take that away from the opposition.

The most exciting matchup of the entire playoffs might just be Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia Flyers. They struggle to adjust. Detroit won the opener against Boston, 7-0, but lost the series in six games. And the Lightning, at one time flying around with abandon and looking like the best team in the league, are not at their peak as the playoffs start. As the lowest seed in the Western Conference, they swept through the opening round and battled through rivals all the way to the biggest scene in sports.

The Philadelphia Flyers played well down the stretch to get in the playoffs and their offense was solid of late as they had averaged 3.90 gpg during their last 11 games of the regular season.

The Bruins built a 3-1 lead in that series, but the Maple Leafs were undaunted and rallied to tie the series at three games each. "Until you play seven games in 14 nights where you learn to hate the opposition". "A big part in the playoffs is to get better every game and adjust".

The Penguins expect the Flyers to do the same, and to charge back Friday. However, both of Philadelphia's road losses to Pittsburgh during the regular season came in overtime by a single goal, so the lopsided score definitely changed the complexion of the series. The Flyers didn't have any in the final 40 minutes.

The Flyers, despite having a slew of veterans, looked jittery and were a turnover machine Wednesday, and the Penguins had the puck down at their end most of the game.

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