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Flyers-Penguins Game 1: Key Questions and Gamethread

Apr 11, 2012, 6:16 PM EDT

The Eastern Conference opening round matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins is as good a pairing as these NHL playoffs will likely see. The heated rivals are the NHL's top two scoring teams, and they have young, elite stars and veteran talent that represent the game well. Their fans hate each other, and fans around the league love to hate both teams.
The Eastern Conference opening round matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins is as good a pairing as these NHL playoffs will likely see. The heated rivals are the NHL’s top two scoring teams, and they have young, elite stars and veteran talent that represent the game well. Their fans hate each other, and fans around the league love to hate both clubs.  
While on the one hand it’s a shame the league’s weighted seeding system forced this matchup into the opening round, if either team thinks it can win the Cup this year, there’s a solid chance this matchup was going to happen at some point anyway. 
So why not just get right to it? You’ve probably read a thousand previews, and by now, we all know the Penguins a whole lot better than we’d like. So let’s just take a look at the big questions for the series, watch some hockey, and scream our heads off, giddy up and f*cking go

The biggest question, for my money, is can Ilya Bryzgalov be the goalie this team’s been missing for decades? They brought him in to be the difference maker, and for the month of March he was all that and then some. He’s got an injury, but appears ready to go. More than anything, Bryz could be the difference in this series. 

Can the Flyers’ defense play the way they did in March too? That certainly helped the turnaround between the pipes… 
Can Jagr be a Penguin killer again? Since leaving Pittsburgh, #68 has tormented his former team. He’s been in a drought lately, but snapped it with a goal against the Pens in the finale. Would looooove to see the salute a few times this series. 
Can Claude Giroux be the biggest star on the ice? 
Can the Flyers continue to stymie the Penguins’ power play? 
Will ticky-tack calls and man-advantages dominate what should be the definition of a Let Them Play series?
Will Max Talbot get to shush anyone? 
Can the Flyers’ scoring depth wilt The Flower?
Who will step up and have a breakout performance?
 
Any predictions on how the above will pan out? Other questions you think will define the series? Calls for the series?