Country music artist Keith Urban sings the National Anthem prior to Game Three of the Western Conference Final between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 16, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sidney Crosby played the puck off his left skate for a flawless 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.
That nickname was reversed in the second period, as Sheary started a tic-tac-toe play that led to a Guentzel goal.
First-period goals by Bryan Rust (a poor rebound allowed by Elliott), an all-alone Carl Hagelin (tip-in), and Evgeni Malkin staked the Penguins to a 3-0 lead.
Matt Murray boasts another postseason shut out (he had two in the Stanley Cup Finals previous year giving him three straight in the playoffs) as the Penguins also found themselves dominant in shots - out firing the Flyers 33-23. The puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 11, and it is being televised live on NBC Sports Network.
Elliott stopped 14 of 19 shots and was pulled in favor of Mrazek after Crosby's latest bit of wizardry pushed Pittsburgh's lead to 5-0 just 9:01 into the second.
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When it comes to playoff experience, the Kings have an obvious advantage, having won two Stanley Cups in the past six seasons, while this is the Knights' first season as a team.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS How They Win: Dating back to his University of North Dakota days, coach Dave Hakstol has always gotten better results in the second half of the season. Last year, they were the Predators.
The Penguins, now at +1000 on the Stanley Cup odds, swept the regular-season series with the Flyers 4-0, although two of those games were decided in overtime.
All that before Crosby got involved.
Brian Dumoulin's shot from the point fluttered after hitting a stick. Enter Crosby, who reached out and swatted it like a tennis player sending a two-handed backhand down the line. It zipped past a stunned Elliott.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Defenseman Joe Morrow broke a tie with 6:13 left and Winnipeg beat Minnesota in Game 1 for the first playoff victory in franchise history.
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In its only other playoff appearances since joining the National Hockey League in 1999 in Atlanta, the franchise was swept in 2006-07 by the New York Rangers and 2011 by Anaheim.
Nikolaj Ehlers set up the Morrow at the point for a one-timer that beat goalie Devan Dubnyk. Acquired from Ottawa ahead of the trade deadline, a healthy Brassard would assume a spot on the third line centering Conor Sheary and Phil Kessel.
It was a relatively easy night for Murray, who made 24 saves in the game to complete the shutout win.
Not that Pittsburgh's captain wanted to buy into any sort of message sending, even after the Penguins became only the fifth team in National Hockey League history to win a series opener by at least seven goals. Philadelphia's power play went 0 for 4 and didn't even generate a shot. Quick stopped 27 shots. It includes Colorado, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Vegas and Winnipeg. Well, at least the finish was overwhelming, and it was thrilling from a Boston point of view while it was brutal from Toronto's perspective.
Washington Capitals over Columbus Blue Jackets in 6 - Caps get rid of Tortorella without trouble. The reality for the Avalanche is that they are huge underdogs against Nashville and realistically have a slim chance of advancing.
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