1. Both Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and his assistant Craig Berube directed some strong, critical words at the Penguins in the past week. Laviolette didn't like the fact that Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma had his fourth line out late in a game last Sunday, when centre Joe Vitale rocked Philadelphia veteran Danny Briere with an open ice hit. Berube called Pittsburgh superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin two of the dirtiest players in the league.
2. The Penguins blew a 3-1 series lead to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round without Crosby last year. Now No. 87 has returned with a successful second comeback late this season after a three-month stay on the sidelines with another bout with concussion-like symptoms. He scored eight goals and 37 points in 22 games and the Penguins went 14-6-2 with him in the lineup this season.
3. There will be plenty of heat on Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. After a difficult middle part to the season, the high-priced free agent found his form and delivered some strong goaltending late in the year. He has a Stanley Cup ring as a backup goalie with the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks. He only made five appearances that spring, but won three games for the Ducks in the first round. Still, the 31-year-old Russian has won only one playoff series on his own.
Season series - Flyers 4-2-0.
Dec. 08 - Flyers 3-2 at Philadelphia
Dec. 29 - Flyers 4-2 at Pittsburgh
Feb. 18 - Penguins 6-4 at Philadelphia
March 18 - Flyers 3-2 (OT) at Philadelphia
April 01 - Flyers 6-4 at Pittsburgh
April 07 - Penguins 4-2 at Pittsburgh
Prediction - Penguins in seven
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