Flyers vs. Penguins 2018

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The Florida Panthers' Frank Vatrano (72) is knocked to the ice by the Nashville Predators' Matt Irwin (52) in the first period on Tuesday, April 3.

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins have won back-to-back Stanley Cups and will look for a three-peat during this year's playoffs.

We pretty much got what we expected.

Sidney Crosby played the puck off his left skate for a ideal pass to Jake Guentzel to start a rush that saw it fed to Kris Letang for a shot and Rust rebounding at the top of the left circle for a 1-0 lead at 2:38 for the first goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Yet after getting that monkey off their back the Capitals fall 4-2 in the Eastern Conference final to Boston, which drops top-seeded Tampa Bay 4-2 in the second round.

Hulu, which is jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast and Time Warner, announced that it will become an official National Hockey League partner for the entirety of the 2018 playoff season, streaming games across the NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), CNBC, USA Network and Golf Channels. They are not alone though.

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Rookie wing Alex Tuch has practiced in Perron's spot on the second line with center Erik Haula and James Neal all week. The Los Angeles Kings (45-29-8) are coming from a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars to cap the regular season.

"If that goes in, it's 1-1 and maybe we're talking about a different result", Crosby said.

Without the expectation that comes with the Presidents' Trophy, the Caps are flying under the radar this year, finishing tied for sixth most points in the league.

It didn't take long for Bergeron to score the victor in overtime, and ruin the hopes of long-suffering Toronto fans.

Crosby picked up two more goals to complete the hat trick and put a touchdown on the board for the Penguins, capping off a huge Game 1 for Pittsburgh's top line. That's a figure the upstart Vegas Golden Knights are aiming to update. In the West, Minnesota faces Winnipeg in the first playoff series between the two division rivals, which could heat up fast. With this year marking the first time the Pens and Flyers have met in a playoff series since 2012, they wasted no time exchanging pleasantries. The defense on the Lightning is outstanding as they have star defensive players in Hedman, Sergachev and McDonagh.

16 - Game-winning playoff goals for Toronto forward Patrick Marleau. There were 7,552 regular-season goals. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a new team that has never been in the playoffs as a cohesive unit before, and the veteran Kings can certainly exploit that.

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Then he had to face Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He's one of the few players on Philadelphia's roster that have won a playoff series before. Both, by the way, are firsts for the franchise founded in 1999.

The two x-factors in the series could be Rick Nash for the Bruins and Patrick Marleau for the Leafs.

This NHL playoff season is full of firsts, and you won't want to miss a second of it. He was also the Penguins' leading scorer last playoffs, and looks set to dominate the field once again this year. The Devils don't have much to counter with, as they only have Hall who tallied 93 points in the regular season and nearly nothing else other than him. Teams are upgraded (or downwgraded) for road wins or home losses, big-margin games (wins by three or more goals), shutouts and overtime wins.

Regardless of the right winger, Couturier and Giroux manage to control both shots and goals for at even strength very well, but up head to head with Crosby's line, posting those numbers would be nothing short of extraordinary. A well-balanced offense led by Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson, each with over 60 points, has led Nashville to be one of the top goal-scoring teams in the league.

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If Juventus kept the 3-0 lead in regulation, the game would go to extra time and the next score would be the series decider. Real will be looking to put in a few goals in the beginning of the match and kill off this game at the earnest.

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