NHL Playoffs 2012: Last Night in the East (April 11)

By Stephanie Lewark

Philadelphia Flyers 4 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 3

The Eastern Conference kicked off the 2012 NHL playoffs with only one game last night between two bitter rivals of the Atlantic Division, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.  The series, these two teams, their fans, and the entire rivalry have best been summed up so far by Flyers star winger, Claude Giroux:

“Everybody hates everybody and it’s going to make for good games and it’ll be a good show for the fans. The boys are pretty excited.”

Sidney Crosby started it all off with an exciting goal within the first five minutes of the game.  This began a really fast-paced, hard-hitting first period dominated by the Penguins.  Before the horn sounded for the first intermission, the Penguins racked up two more goals and all of the momentum.

But like many times before, instead of continuing full-speed-ahead coming back from the first break, the Penguins took their foot off the gas and the Flyers worked hard to climb out of the 3-0 hole they found themselves in.  By the end of regulation, Philadelphia finally tied it up on Brayden Schenn‘s power-play goal for a chance to win it in overtime which is what they did.

This is only one game and is there’s a reason why it’s a “best-of-seven” playoff series.  It’s a whole different ballgame than regular-season hockey and momentum isn’t taken from one game into the next, so it’s still either of these team’s series to win with lots of possibilities.  And that’s the magic of the playoffs.

Game 2 of the series is tomorrow evening at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

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