PITTSBURGH - Holding court before a gaggle of reporters, Max Talbot said Game 1 played out on Wednesday night exactly the way he thought it would.
No, Talbot wasn't talking about the Flyers' ridiculous three-goal comeback.
But having donned the proud sweaters of both of the franchises in this Eastern Conference quarterfinal death match over the last two seasons, he knew better than to expect the overblown nastiness on Wednesday.
"I heard some quotes, that it's going to be a bloodbath," Talbot said. "People forget it's two great teams playing against each other. Both teams have a lot of skill, a lot of offense."
The Flyers and Penguins traded 74 hits in Game 1. There were just four penalties. And there wasn't a single punch thrown - even after the whistle.
Much to the chagrin of thirsty fans, there was no blood to scrape up when the ice crew began to Zamboni the frozen slab in the quiet Consol Energy Center after the Flyers' shocking overtime win.
Now, in Game 2 on Friday night, the Flyers will have a chance to draw first blood - as in the Penguins' lifeline. Amazingly, the underdog Flyers - picked by nearly no one to win - officially can put the Penguins' season on notice before the best-of-seven set even shifts to Philadelphia with a consecutive win on the road.
In their 44-year history, the Flyers have never lost a series (17-0) when leading two games to none.
"It's Game 1. It's one win," Talbot said plainly. "It probably won't mean much if we don't win Game 2."
It is a daunting challenge, indeed, for the untested and inexperienced Flyers. The statistics bear that out. Pittsburgh, for one, is 9-1 all-time at home after a Game 1 loss. They have responded to their last three playoff losses to the Flyers with a win.
Simply put, the Flyers - 18-12 in Game 2's when leading 1-0 - know they can step on the Penguins' necks with a win in Game 2. The winner of Game 2 has gone on to take the last three series the Penguins have played.
For the Flyers, the biggest test will be whether they can block out Wednesday's improbable victory and remain greedy. Usually, a road team would be satisfied with a split in the first two games of a series - something the Flyers have already accomplished regardless of Friday's result.
A full range of the Flyers players - from Scott Hartnell to Kimmo Timonen to Wayne Simmonds - acknowledged that their Game 1 win was "lucky." Not only did the Flyers score four unanswered goals in a span of 36 minutes, but they also converted on their only power-play opportunity, thwarted all three of the Penguins', and won without their top line contributing.
"We wanted to get that split," Simmonds said. "If we win that second one, it's all that much better. I think our first 20 [minutes] is crucial. There's no way we can do that all playoffs long, climbing back from that. We can't be playing with fire like that.
"We've just go to go into this game with a positive attitude. We know that we can win in this building. We need to make sure we're not sitting back, that we're attacking. In the second and third periods, we dictated the game. We just need to play our style. We're confident in what we've done."
As any gambler knows, the game is often played differently with house money.
"It's huge," Hartnell said. "We were able to accomplish that, to bring back home-ice advantage to Philly. But it would be important to get this next game. We'd go back home to Philly, where we've played well [recently]."
Improbably, if not impossibly, the Flyers want to enact that killer instinct. Game 2 is not an elimination game, but it might as well be played that way.
"To get the second one, it would be huge," Jake Voracek said. "Then, we'll know we can win the series back in Philly."