NHL players can only do so much with the time they’re allowed.
That’s why they have a game plan, and it’s what they’ve put together for their last two playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Here’s what it looks like.
What’s in it for the Flyers?
They’ve won all three of their playoff series, including a 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 in Pittsburgh on April 15.
They have the best record in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve been riding a hot streak that began with a 2-1 series victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 23.
So the Flyers have a chance to win their second Stanley Cup in three years.
The Penguins are a wild card team and are playing their first playoff series since 2007.
But they’re playing in the Metropolitan Division, where they’re not exactly a playoff team.
The Flyers are in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
They’re 8-2-1 in their last 10 playoff series with a 5.07 goals per game average.
They are one of four teams in the league with a winning percentage of .738 or better, and the Flyers are No. 2 in that category with a .719 record.
That should be enough to beat the Penguins for the second straight series.
The key to winning this series will be for the Philadelphia defense to be more disciplined.
They’ve been very aggressive on the penalty kill in their past two games.
They stopped Pittsburgh’s top two lines of Matt Read, Connor Brown and Matt Read and were held without a goal in Game 4, a 4-3 overtime loss.
The Pittsburgh power play is killing the Flyers chances at goals, with five of their 19 goals coming on the man advantage.
If the Flyers defense can stay healthy, they could be able to win this series.
But there are still questions for this team, especially at center ice.
Center Max Talbot has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.
He missed Game 5 and Game 6.
If Talbot is out for more than a few weeks, then the Flyers will need a healthy Brayden Schenn to step up.
Schenner is second on the team in scoring at five goals per series with seven points in 10 games.
He has three goals in seven playoff games and leads the Flyers in ice time with 22:49 per game.
Scheduling will be an issue for the Penguins as they try to hold off the Flyers for a spot in the second round.
The NHL has already ruled that Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will both start against the Flyers.
Crosby was ruled out for Game 2 with an undisclosed injury, and Malkin was ruled down with a lower-body problem.
The Philadelphia Flyers will have to get through the first round of the playoffs without Crosby and Malkins, but the team has a chance if they can hold off Pittsburgh in the first two games of the series.
This series is a must-win for the Pittsburgh organization.