Flyers-Penguins Game 1 Essentials

Here's everything you need to know Wednesday night for Game 1 of the Flyers-Penguins best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

Flyers at Penguins (series tied 0-0)
7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia; Pregame Live at 6 p.m.

Live stream
Live stats
Social media
Series schedule

Projected lineups

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Michael Raffl
Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
Travis Konecny-Valtteri Filppula-Wayne Simmonds
Scott Laughton-Jori Lehtera-Matt Read

Ivan Provorov-Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim-Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning-Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Forwards Jordan Weal, Taylor Leier and Dale Weise; defensemen Robert Hagg and Johnny Oduya; goalie Michal Neuvirth.

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Carl Hagelin-Evgeni Malkin-Patric Hornqvist
Conor Sheary-Derick Brassard-Phil Kessel
Zach Aston-Reese-Riley Sheahan-Tom Kuhnhackl

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Olli Maatta-Justin Schultz
Jamie Oleksiak-Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray
Casey DeSmith

Scratches: Forwards Dominik Simon, Josh Jooris and Carter Rowney; defenseman Matt Hunwick.

What to watch for …

John Boruk
Keep an eye on:
Travis Sanheim
The Flyers' rookie will be tested early either against Sidney Crosby's line or Evgeni Malkin. The key for Sanheim is to make quick, low-risk decisions with the puck in the defensive zone while remaining active and involved in the offensive end, where he draws from his confidence. If Sanheim has trouble and struggles in Game 1, don't be surprised to see Dave Hakstol go to rookie Robert Hagg for Game 2.

Bold prediction: Michael Raffl will be the Flyers' leading goal scorer in this series. Raffl has really stepped his game up another level since he was inserted onto that top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. He comes into the postseason riding a two-game goal-scoring streak and, more importantly, he's found instant chemistry with Giroux and Couturier, not hesitating in firing away at opposing goaltenders with 12 attempted shots in his last two games.

Tom Dougherty
Keep an eye on: The Flyers' third pair
Brandon Manning and Radko Gudas might not be in the level of horrible Lukas Krajicek, Oskars Bartulis and Ryan Parent were in 2010, but they don't exactly inspire confidence. The Penguins are deep and loaded with skill. Will the Flyers' third pair be in over its head?

Bold prediction: Manning's glue wears down and Hakstol finally goes back to Hagg in Game 2. And that's the end of the Manning era in Philadelphia.

Jordan Hall
Keep an eye on: The Flyers' second line
It'll be interesting to see what matchup Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick and Jakub Voracek face in the early going. Voracek owns 35 career points (18 goals, 17 assists) against the Penguins - his most against any opponent - while Patrick, 19, and Lindblom, 21, have a combined 96 games of NHL experience. Should be fun to watch.

Bold prediction: Shayne Gostisbehere puts up a three-point game and scores the Flyers' first goal of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Recommended reading
• Players to watch, predictions and more for Flyers-Penguins

• Brian Elliott ready for playoff opportunity with Flyers

Playoff success foreign to most Flyers

5 keys for Flyers to beat Penguins in playoffs

Ivan Provorov's quiet stardom about to grow louder

Why this playoff berth is different for Ron Hextall's Flyers

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