The Pittsburgh Penguins completely dominated the Philadelphia Flyers. The summary of this game could be as simple as that.
To be fair, the Flyers had a few chances and hit a few posts. If some of those went in, it may have been a tighter game. They didn't, and it wasn't.
Here's a quick statistical summary of the domination:
Flyers -35 penalty minutes (16 by Hartnell)
Faceoffs - 38-21 Pens
Shots - 33-27 Pens
Takeaways - 7-0 Pens
Giveaways - 6 by the Flyers, 1 by the Pens.
Goals - 4-1
We saw this from the Pens last year in the playoffs. They seemingly flipped a switch and were ready to go. They've been playing well, but nothing I saw made me expect this type of game from them. They were focused and intense.
Biron simply wasn't very good tonight. He made a few nice saves, but he also allowed a few bad goals. On the other side, Fleury was really good, and his friend the post was there to help him.
The playing time was balanced across all four lines. Adams had the least playing time, and he played almost 10 minutes. Sid and Geno only played 17 minutes each. Rolling four lines is key to going deep into the playoffs. Having three lines that are a consistent threat, as the Pens do, is also huge.
If I were a Penguins player, I'd be really amped to get right back on the ice after the crap the goons from Philly were pulling at the end of the game. The final straw was putting Daniel Carcillo on to take the last faceoff against Max Talbot. When he took this one, he punched Talbot right in the face, possibly using the butt-end of his stick (it was hard to tell from the one replay). I think this one will require a separate post. It was just STUPID, and hockey doesn't need it.
The good news is that none of the thuggery mattered. The Pens won the game. They can continue to stick the Flyers collective noses in it by winning again on Friday night.
The only thing to remember is that we can't get too far ahead of ourselves. The Pens played really well, and the Flyers played about as poorly as they could have. Things will shift dramatically if the Flyers win Game 2.
Next up: Game 2 on Friday night at the Igloo.