NHL: Must-Win Game for Penguins

Ben Gaerttner Contributor IApril 5, 2008

The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading into Philadelphia to face the Flyers for the last game of the regular season Sunday afternoon, and it has become the most important game of the year for the boys from Pittsburgh.

I say this only because if the Penguins do lose the game in Philly, it might just be the beginning of the end of a spectacular season for the Penguins.

The Ottawa Senators just locked-up the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, meaning if the Penguins lost in Philadelphia, they would once again be matched up against the high-powered offense of the Ottawa Senators. I think we all remember how the series went last year between these two teams, and it could very well happen again as the Penguins went 1-1-0-2 this year against the Senators.

On the other hand, if the Penguins manage to come out of Philly with a win, the Pens would take the East's top spot and would take on the Flyers in the first round. This would make a better series for the Penguins because they are just starting to play better hockey against the Flyers in the past three games against them.

Heading into the game Sunday afternoon, the Penguins are 3-4 against the Flyers, who at the first half of the season played very well against the Penguins, notably in an 8-2 beating on the Penguins in Philadelphia. Still, I firmly believe the Penguins have a better chance against the Flyers than the Senators, making game 82 of the regular season a big one for Pittsburgh.