NHL Playoffs 2012: Flyers Can All but Lock Up the Series with a Win Tonight

Ian BarryCorrespondent IIIApril 13, 2012

The Flyers and Penguins will face off in Game 2 of their first round matchup tonight in Pittsburgh. The Flyers currently hold a 1-0 series lead, and if they can pull off a second win in Pittsburgh tonight, they will go on to win the series. 

The Penguins had a late season push to pass the Flyers in the standings and take home ice advantage for the playoffs. 

Home ice advantage is very important for teams during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Teams want home ice, unless you are the Penguins and the Flyers are coming to town.

Since the Consol Energy Center opened, the Flyers have dominated the Penguins in their own building. 

The continued dominance the Flyers have shown in Pittsburgh has to be taking a mental toll on the Penguins. Playing at home gives a team many advantages. The fans are on the home team’s side, players don’t have to travel, and players can sleep in their own beds.

The Flyers have been able to take the games that should be a welcomed experience for the Penguins and turn them into a serious problem.

If the Flyers can sweep the first two games in Pittsburgh and take a 2-0 lead going back to Philadelphia, the Penguins will not be able to come back in the series. 

The Penguins have more wins this season against the Flyers in Philadelphia than they do in Pittsburgh. Although the Penguins have a better record in Philadelphia, they still do not have a winning record in Philadelphia. 

The Flyers have a chance to end the series tonight in Pittsburgh. A loss for the Penguins would not eliminate them, but it would be a crushing mental blow. 

The effect of being swept at home would be hard for the Penguins to overcome. The Flyers would only have to win two games, and three of them would be in Philadelphia. A win tonight would be a huge shift in the series and all but lock up a series win for the Flyers.