The first game of this metropolitan division matchup allowed the Penguins to make a major statement.
By Margie Dillman, Sports Editor
After seasons characterized by astonishing perseverance, the number two ranked Pittsburgh Penguins met the number three Philadelphia Flyers in Game One of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals on April 11. This battle for Pennsylvania is not a new one, as their rivalry is one that has been around since the two teams were first created by the 1967 expansion draft that expanded the National Hockey League from six teams to twelve.
This year is a little different as instead of a head to head matchup the Flyers are considered the drastic underdogs. Pittsburgh has claimed the Stanley Cup for the last two years, and although the Penguins lost multiple players in trades throughout this season, their roster seems to be just as stacked as ever. Losing alternate captain Chris Kunitz to the Tampa Bay Lightning meant losing one of their star left wings, along with centers such as Matt Cullen. The Penguins lost their fair share of players, but seem to be doing just fine thanks to additions such as Derrick Brassard and Zach Aston-Reese.
The Flyers have a star player in long term captain Claude Giroux, as well as in rookie Nolan Patrick. After winning 42 out of their 82 games this season, the Flyers ended up accumulating 100 points and showed that the young blood on their team is giving them new life. This new life fell short on Wednesday night as Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott failed to stop 7 of the Penguins shots, while his opposite on the other end, Matt Murray, stopped every shot that he faced during the 60 minute match up. Sidney Crosby, captain of the Pens, proved himself yet again to be one of the best in the game as he scored almost half of the Penguins goals, earning himself a hat trick and increased respect all over Pennsylvania. Game Two of this best of 7 series is tonight, April 13, at 7:00.