PITTSBURGH (AP) — Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov (BRIZ-gah-lov) says the only things that scare him are bears in the woods.
Maybe, but he’ll face the most fearsome team in the NHL when the Flyers open the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins are the league’s highest scoring team, led by Art Ross Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin and captain Sidney Crosby, who has 25 points in 14 games since returning from concussion-like symptoms last month.
Both players missed the 2011 postseason with injuries as the Penguins fell to Tampa Bay in seven games. The memory of watching from the press box as their teammates struggled to score goals has stuck with Malkin and Crosby for the last year.
Philadelphia won four of the six meetings between the two clubs this season, but center Claude Giroux says that success won’t matter if the Flyers can’t advance to the second round.