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NHL East conference final preview

Vinny Prospal might play an important role for the Flyers.

Getty Images

Vinny Prospal might play an important role for the Flyers.

Conference final preview

Eastern

Pittsburgh Penguins

Route: Beat the Senators in four, Rangers in five.

How they did it: Being oppressive. The skilled Penguins won their first seven playoff games until the Rangers strung out their series.

Why they'll reach the final: Evgeni Malkin had four goals and three assists against the Rangers. Marian Hossa had four goals and one assist, and Sidney Crosby had six assists.

Why they won't: Skaters don't skate so fast pressed against the boards. The Flyers, who stifled Washington's Alex Ovechkin for most of the opening round, will be a grabby bunch of ruffians.

Philadelphia Flyers

Route: Beat the Capitals in seven, Canadiens in five.

How they did it: Continuing to play with urgency — after a hiccup against the Capitals — after winning several meaningful games just to reach the playoffs as the No. 6 seed.

Why they'll reach the final: Mind-set goes a long way at this time of year, and the Flyers are self-believers entering the Battle of Pennsylvania. And former Lightning standout Vinny Prospal will step up.

Why they won't: Mind-set matters little when Crosby and Malkin hit open ice with the puck.

Brant James, Times staff writer

NHL East conference final preview 05/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2008 10:03pm]
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© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

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