Philadelphia will be formidable test

The Flyers believe they have an edge because they've been through more playoff battles than the Lightning.

Updated: May 7, 2004, 2:03 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Inevitably, experience will come into play in the Eastern Conference finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers. But without any way to measure it, it's difficult to say how big a role experience will play in determining which team advances to the Stanley Cup finals.

The veteran Flyers believe they have an edge in the best-of-7 series, which begins Saturday at Tampa Bay, because they've been through more playoff battles than the Lightning, who have learned a thing or two about what it takes to win the past two seasons and are the favorites because they won the conference title in the regular season.

The Flyers are a better defensive team under Ken Hitckcock.
"Our goal, for us to win this series, we have to be able to play our game," Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I don't know the way to describe it. It's not so much staring into the abyss. It's to take all of the experience of having to play in these types of series in the last two years -- with the pressure from other areas, other than competition.