Evgeni Malkin degrades Flyers with savage 1-in-3 tally

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/3638/" data-ylk="slk:Evgeni Malkin">Evgeni Malkin</a> is quite simply a beast. (Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Evgeni Malkin is quite simply a beast. (Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Penguins gon’ Penguin.

The playoffs are here, and that means its time for the-back-to-back defending champion professional hockey team from Pittsburgh to start playing a little puck.

And when the Penguins decide they would like to play some hockey, that often involves Evgeni Malkin who, in the first period of Pittsburgh’s Game 1 showdown with Philly, absolutely torched the Flyers with a savage end-to-end effort.

It also usually involves that Sidney Crosby guy, who was out there batting pucks out of mid-air (again) and ending Brian Elliott’s first playoff start with the Flyers before the game was 30 minutes old.

Malkin’s coast-to-coast tally made it 3-0 in an absolutely dominant first period by the Pens. Pittsburgh, with 30 home wins in 2017-18, was one of the league’s best in their own barn during the regular season and looked to have carried that over seamlessly into Game 1 after performing open heart surgery on the Flyers through the opening 20 minutes.

Crosby’s snipe made it five-zip and chased Elliott from the Flyers cage in favour of Petr Mrazek. The former became the 10th netminder to start a playoff game for the Flyers since 2005 — most in the NHL. Suffice to say that number will grow to 11 when Mrazek starts a game at some point this series, maybe as early as Game 2.

With Michal Neuvirth on the verge of being cleared to return, It wouldn’t be surprising if head coach Dave Hakstol uses all three of their goalies in this series, and maybe the zamboni driver — or even an old friend.

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