Worst case scenario.
Lets see. Flyers-Penguins, Stanley Cup Playoffs — it’s a dream come true right? Unless it’s not. Flyers fans, and the players too of course, were put through the worst kind of agony Wednesday night as the defending Stanley Cup Champions creamed Philadelphia 7-0.
The Flyers made mistakes up and down the ice, were dreadful on the power play, benched their starting goaltender and failed to get any momentum as they fell behind in the seven-game series 1-0.
Things couldn’t really have started any worse for Philly out of the gate, as a bad rebound off of Bryan Elliott gave Pittsburgh’s Bryan Rust a window to get his Penguins ahead 1-0 less than three minutes into the game.
But worse it got, as Carl Haglin tipped in Pittsburgh’s second goal of the game near the 10-minute mark giving Philly a thoroughly uphill battle with more than 50 minutes left in Game 1. The goal that made it 2-0 came after some sloppy play by the
Flyers in their own zone. Unforced errors, it seemed, would threaten to be the away team’s undoing. A tripping penalty on Travis Konecny shortly after made the battle more one-sided but the Flyers drew a power play of their own to slither out of the tricky spot.
The penalty kill didn’t matter. Four minutes later Evgeni Malkin flipped a beautiful wrist shot into the back of the net, as Pittsburgh bested Elliott for the third time in the first frame.
A dagger came midway through the second on another Penguin power play, as Jake Guentzel converted with a man advantage to make it 4-0, and Sidney Crosby got in on the action too seconds later to up things to 5-0.
That was it for Elliott, as Petr Mrazek took over between the pipes as Philadelphia continued to lick its wounds.
Mzrazek wasn’t without blemish, as Crosby beat twice to up Pittsburgh’s big night to a nice even touchdown and 7-0 advantage (and the impressive hat trick).
Matt Murray boasts another postseason shut out (he had two in the Stanley Cup Finals last year giving him three straight in the playoffs) as the Penguins also found themselves dominant in shots — out firing the Flyers 33-23.
Philly will regroup for Game 2 Friday night, another 7 p.m. puck drop in Pittsburgh. If the Flyers can somehow salvage a victory in hostile territory, they’ll still claim home ice advantage with three games at home — starting on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.