The Stanley Cup playoffs get underway tonight at Consol Energy Center, where the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers in what seemingly every analyst this side of Nunavut predicts will be the most intense first-round matchup.
Yes, the Pens and Flyers do not like one another, and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve faced off 258 times over 44 years, and while the Flyers own a 140-81-30 lead in the all-time series, it was the Penguins who eliminated them from the postseason in 2008 and 2009.
The Penguins finally have their full arsenal of offensive weapons with Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal all healthy. And along with the usual suspects — Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere — Philadelphia now has that Jaromir Jagr guy, who helped the Pens to the Cup in 1991 and 1992.
Yes, all the pieces are in place for a fun, physical series.
But who should Washington Capitals fans want to emerge from this 4-5 “bloodbath?” Or, perhaps more appropriately, which team would you rather see lose?
Flyers at Penguins, 7:30 (NBCSN)
Red Wings at Predators, 8 (CNBC)
Kings at Canucks, 10:30 (NBCSN)
Consider this your open thread for all of tonight’s action.
Schedule: First-round matchups