Following the incredible back-and-forth overtime Game 1, the Philadelphia Flyers look to secure their spot in the Eastern Conference finals with just three more wins over the New Jersey Devils.
The Flyers out-shot the Devils 30-11 following a sloppy, inconsistent first period in which the Devils took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
Bouncing back from their early deficit, the Flyers added a goal from superstar Claude Giroux and their 45 percent effective power play—the best of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Going into Game 2 and the rest of the 2012 playoffs, here are the five most important Philadelphia Flyers...
Ilya Bryzgalov is easily the most important player for the Philadelphia Flyers and their Stanley Cup run.
In the series against the Penguins, Bryzgalov allowed 21 goals, including five in just 23 minutes of ice time in Game 4, posting a weak .871 save percentage throughout the six games.
He averaged just over three goals per game in the series against the Penguins, which puts tremendous pressure on the Flyers' offense to produce consistently and frequently—something that will not be an easy task against one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur.
The always humble and confident Flyers center Claude "G-Sus" Giroux has created a tile collage of headshots on the "NHL League Leaders" page, currently leading the NHL playoffs in all three major offensive categories: goals, assists and points.
He has truly evolved into one of the league's top players and is sure to win the Conn Smyth Award if he can deliver a Stanley Cup to Broad Street.
Max Talbot had incredible playoff success in Pittsburgh, where he racked up 13 points en route to their 2009 Stanley Cup, the exact reason the cross-state rival Philadelphia Flyers offered him a five-year, $9 million deal.
His best game of the playoffs was Game 3 against Pittsburgh, a game in which Talbot scored twice on just two shots while racking up five hits—exactly what the Flyers coaches expect out of him.
Talbot brings a healthy blend of physicality to his offensive game, something that will be key in the dismantling of the New Jersey Devils.
Wayne Simmonds has made a name for himself as one of the best power forwards in the league. "Simmer" brings his "hit-first" mentality to the ice every shift, whether he's on line three, four or occasionally the power play.
He has evolved into one of the best all-around hockey players in the league coming off a career season offensively.
Aside from his newly-found offensive ability, Simmonds continuously brings his physicality to the ice. The Devils are one of the softest teams in the playoffs, built around suave, slick puck movement from superstar forwards Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Elias.
The Flyers are sure to stress the importance of dominating physically going into Game 2, of which Wayne Simmonds will be a major part of.
Kimmo Timonen is one of the most important pieces of this Flyers season because without captain Chris Pronger and Andrej Meszaros, Timonen is the leader of the Flyers' defensive corps.
The Flyers have averaged over four goals against per game this playoffs, so if Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils can slow down the prolific offense of the Flyers, Timonen and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov must be able to keep the Flyers consistent defensively.
He is helped by cycling defenders Erik Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon; however, Timonen is the most experienced defender on the team, and the Flyers must look to him for success in the playoffs.