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Game: Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Apr 15 2012 3:05PM
Prediction: Philadelphia Flyers
Grade: Winner (120)
Reason: After back to back roaring road comebacks the Flyers are now on home ice and are still failing to get any respect from the public or the lines-makers, as they find themselves the underdog once again. It should not be a surprising that Philly took the first two on the road as they are in fact the NHL's best road team with a 27-13-3 record. Pittsburgh has never won a playoff series after going down 2-0 at home other than coming back from 3-0 to beat Washington in 1996. More bad news for the Pens is Philadephia's 17-0 all time playoff series record when leading 2-0. Pitt has only been swept once in their history (1979, Boston) In the two games at the new Igloo, Pitts has outscored Philly 6-1 in the first period and the Flyers owned the second and third periods 11-2. Pens head coach Dan Bylsma went a very long stretch without Sidney Crosby in the lineup, adopting a distinct defensive scheme, but since Crosby's return they have been playing outside of it as shown by the blown leads in each game. The Penguins team with Crosby in the lineup is very different to the regular season team. They did their best to adapt to life without Sid, but they currently are not adapting back to it very smoothly. The Penguins are one of the most 'public' teams in the league and this is a situation that we LOVE to exploit. Unfortunately for the Sidney and Company, they just do not match up well with Philly as evidenced by the Flyers dominating the season series four games to two and the first two games of this playoff match-up. 19 year old rookie center Sean Couturier locked down and all but threw a wet blanket over Evgeni Malkin and was the first rookie to score a hat trick. We will back the 'home dog' Flyers on this one as Pittsburgh looks down the barrel at quite possibly their second playoff sweep ever.