Sports books prepare for Stanley Cup playoffs after record-breaking National Hockey League season

Sidney Crosby signs messages to Broncos bus survivors

Sports books prepare for Stanley Cup playoffs after record-breaking National Hockey League season

Instead of looking like a team that some considered one of the hottest in the National Hockey League to end the regular season after winning four of their final five games, the Flyers looked more like a team that should be watching the playoffs from home during their first meeting with the Penguins.

These two teams got together in 2013 and played a spectacular seven-game series.

While the Penguins dominated the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, a three-peat just feels unlikely this year.

#The Golden Knights, who might be the greatest expansion team ever, also made the playoffs when nobody expected them to.

The Penguins continued their dominance over the Flyers, carrying their momentum from a four-game regular-season sweep into another win in Game 1. Fans better hope they didn't peak early when they took over first place in the Metro at the end of February.

Then again, if the Penguins play like they did on Wednesday night it may not even matter who the goalie is. With the playoffs set to be underway today, here are some predictions that I have for the 2018 #Nhl Playoffs.

Meanwhile, Derick Brassard is listed as a game-time decision for the opener due to a lower-body injury. In 159 career playoff games (he has started all of them), Holtby has a GAA of 2.00 and a save percentage of.932. With everyone on the same page, the Flyers are a scary team, and center Sean Couturier has been a difference-maker this season.

That leaves Mrazek as the only other potential option for the time being.

The Predators and Lighting are both really strong teams.

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Getty The Nashville Predators are favored against the Colorado Avalanche.

Moments later, Hagelin expertly redirected Patric Hornqvist's shot past Elliott 10:07 into the game. Marleau scored 27 goals for the Maple Leafs, including five on the power play and five game winners. The defense on the Lightning is outstanding as they have star defensive players in Hedman, Sergachev and McDonagh.

15 - Times Claude Giroux of Philadelphia had at least two assists in a game this season.

"Right now my first instinct is yeah", Hakstol said.

The Flyers have won four of their six playoff series, including a six-game triumph over Pittsburgh in the first round in 2012, their last playoff meeting.

This NHL playoff season is full of firsts, and you won't want to miss a second of it. Tomas Nosek came from behind the goal to fire a pass to Theodore, and he blasted a wrist shot through traffic for the Golden Knights' first playoff goal. With most players on the Golden Knights having no playoff experience, the Kings are going to make it past the first round [VIDEO] and send the Golden Knights home.

Flyers goalie Brian Elliott didn't get much help from his defense, but his showing in the opening period of the series certainly left a lot to be desired for Philly fans. The two first-round foes never met in the National Hockey League playoffs when Minnesota had the North Stars (now in Dallas) or Winnipeg had the original Jets (now in Arizona). With fewer expectations, the Capitals might finally be able to outlast the Penguins in a playoff series and end their second-round drought. Well, this year they're going to be heading back to the Finals but not against the Penguins.

Both teams each have very good defensemen as the Lightning have Hedman, McDonagh and Sergachev while the Predators have Subban, Josi and Ellis on the blue line. They were buoyed by career seasons from defenseman Drew Doughty; Anze Kopitar, the team's current captain; and Dustin Brown, the team's former captain who had been in sharp decline.

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