Penguins Open With a Statement In Pittsburgh, Continue Their Momentum

Christopher CantwellContributor IApril 16, 2009

PITTSBURGH - MARCH 25:  Forward Tyler Kennedy #48 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames on March 25, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Momentum is huge entering the NHL playoffs. The Penguins were flying high entering this postseason and showed no signs of letting up in game one.

A 4-1 victory with big nights from Sidney Crosby and Evengi Malkin shows great things are bound to happen for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Crosby notched a Power Play goal and an assist and Malkin exemplified his patience with a backhand goal, on an odd bounce off the board, and an assist.

A run to the Stanley Cup once again must go through Philadelphia in a physical battle for claim as the best hockey team in Pennsylvania.

The physical battle started early, and the most-penalized team in hockey showed no signs of letting up in the playoffs.

Scott Hartnell of the Flyers posted 16 penalty minutes himself, and was an irritating force upon the Pens all game.

No surprise that the key to victory in this game, and the whole series, will be the Penguins ability to capitalize on the Power Play.

Just a little over four minutes into the game, Crosby scored on a power play, and brought the Mellon Arena fans to their feet.

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That home-ice edge stuck throughout the 60 minutes.

Many refer to Tyler Kennedy as the Penguins X-factor, and he scored early in the second to bring the fans right back into the game after the break.

Malkin and Eaton sealed the game up in the third, and Philly notched a late power play goal.

The game ended chippy, as the Flyers looked to set the tone for the next game, which is Friday night in Pittsburgh.

Philly ran out of room in the penalty box as they increased the physical play over the final minutes.

The Penguins look to continue their momentum and take advantage of home-ice once again on Friday. Philly will look to bounce back and grab some of their own momentum before heading home for Game three.

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