Penguins vs. Flyers: Why It Is the Series to Watch for Any NHL Fan

Andi Perelman@@AndiPerelmanContributor IApril 19, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11:  Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers battle for the faceoff in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 11, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There is no denying the excitement being generated from the Pens vs. Flyers hard-fought series. If you are an NHL fan who likes goals, fights, power play goals, shorthanded goals, intense rivalries, record-breaking performances, star-power, comebacks, or tons of penalty minutes, this is definitely the series to watch.

Throughout the series, the Penguins and Flyers have been at each others throats. Their rivalry from the season carried over seamlessly into the playoffs and has been intense since the first game of the series. Rather than explain the ins and outs of each game, here is a look at some of the statistics from the first four games that tell all:

Game 1: Penguins blow a 3-0 lead. Four penalties are recorded during the game.

Game 2: Crosby scores in the first 15 seconds of the game. Penguins blow a 3-1 lead, which leads to a 8-5 loss. Two Shorthanded goals are scored by the Flyers. Eight penalties are recorded during the game.

Game 3: Thirty-eight penalties are recorded during the game. Eight players received misconducts. Asham won't play the rest of the series because of his hit/punch to Schenn. Flyers win third game in a row—they are 9-0 in a series where they win the first three games.

Game 4: Flyers pull goalie Bryzgalov after letting in five goals out of 18 shots. Bobrovsky also ends the game with the same stat, 5-18. Penguins win the game 10-3. Jordan Staal scores his first NHL playoff hat trick.  Twenty-six penalties are recorded during the game. Seven out of the 13 goals scored were on the PP. Pens tie their record for most unanswered goals in a playoff game.

In four games, there were 45 goals scored. That is now the record for most goals scored in the first four games of a playoff series. Overall, these are some pretty crazy stats. It should be interesting to see if the Penguins can carry their momentum to Pittsburgh for Game 5. The penalties seem to be on the rise as the series continues, and with misconducts occurring in games 3 and 4, fans should watch to see if the refs continue their strict reign from Game 4, or loosen up for Game 5.

Can the Penguins keep up the work from Game 4 and make this series go to seven? Does anyone think there is another series that is more exciting than this one?