Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell (center) gets tangled up with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek (4) and Pens goalie Brent Johnson (1) during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers have demonstrated in recent games that they genuinely do not like each other. These are great circumstances for a playoff series to be played under.
All season, the Philadelphia Flyers have had the Pittsburgh Penguins' number. Before the teams met in the last game of the regular season, the Flyers had won four of the five meetings between the teams. The Penguins won that final meeting 4-2, with Evgeni Malkin scoring his 50th goal of the season.
In the grand scheme of things, that game probably didn't mean much and it shouldn't alter the Flyers' confidence heading into Wednesday. They sat Ilya Bryzgalov and Claude Giroux in that game as a precaution. They're arguably the Flyers' two most important players, and it will be a much different game when they return for Game 1 of their team's first round playoff series.
Flyers forward Scott Hartnell has predicted that there will be "a lot of blood" in the game, and even the biggest supporters of old-school hockey will hope that was a figure of speech. Hard, physical play is always good and occasional fights have their place, but these two teams are too good not to attempt to play some actual hockey.
No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers at No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
7:30 p.m. ET -- Game 1, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals | Series tied, 0-0
National TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS | Local TV: CSN Philly, ROOT Pittsburgh
For more on the Pens, check out Pittsburgh Penguins blog PensBurgh and SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on the Flyers, head over to Philadelphia Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey and SB Nation Philly. We'll have coverage of every playoff series at SB Nation's NHL Hub.