Flyers and Pens are familiar playoff foes


PITTSBURGH -- It shouldnt be too hard for the Flyers to work up some kind hatred for the Penguins by next week, should it?

You've got recent playoff history going back to the John Stevens era, when Pittsburgh beat the Flyers in five game in the 2008 Eastern Conference finals one year, then came back and beat them again in the opening round of 2009.

And you have what occurred in regular season games these past couple years under Peter Laviolette and even the melee a week ago Sunday.

Im sure it will come out of a playoff series, Max Talbot said. Its something that's gonna be a hard battle and intense hockey and Im up for it and ready for it. Every year is different and obviously it has something to do with rivalry.

Every game was hard fought. But there is different personnel on both teams. Even game to game, playoff momentum carries sometimes.

But I remember even losing 5-0 and going back home and you get the first goal and win Game 6. Momentum or hatred, its going to start Wednesday and its going to be fun.

Games 1 and 3 will be next Wednesday and Friday in Pittsburgh at CONSOL Energy Center where Laviolette has surpassed Jaromir Jagr as the most hated guy in Allegheny County.

I thought they were booing at Jagr, Laviolette said. I'm pretty sure they were.

Scott Hartnell loves playing in this city; he craves the anger directed toward him from among Penguin fans.

You love coming into buildings were fans despise you and you know you're going to get a tough game, Hartnell said.

This is best time of year right now. We've got a confident group in here.

The Flyers won four of six against Pittsburgh this season. Yeah, the playoffs are a new season, but you hope that kind of success carries over, especially now that Ilya Bryzgalov will be goal and not Sergei Bobrovsky.

I don't think it matters what happens during a season between us and them, Claude Giroux said. We gotta make sure when the puck drops Wednesday we're jumping and winning battles.

They have a lot of players that can make plays and score goals, so we gotta make sure we're responsible defensively.

It should be an interesting series for Jaromir Jagr, who was part of some memorable clashes in the past, including the one in 2000 where Craig Ramsays Flyers won in five overtimes at the Civic Arena.

Keith Primeaus goal well into the morning hours ended Game 4, 2-1. That was a crushing loss for Jagr.

Most of the time, Jagr said, I was on the losing side. Hopefully, it's going to change. It was always tough to play against Philly when I was on the Pittsburgh.

I remember we had a tough time in Philadelphia. In one series 2000, we were up 2-0 coming home and we still lost the series, 4-2.

Back then I thought we were going to finally beat them, but it didn't happen. It was always a tough, physical series.

Should be all that -- and more.

Im a guy who loves challenges, Talbot said. Its weird. As soon as I signed with the Flyers, I had a feeling wed meet in the playoffs and its something that I am OK with and excited about.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at

Contact Us