Afternoon games are usually snoozefests. Takes at least one period for both teams to wake up.
I don't think so. That game will be played in palyoff/winterclassic atmosphere. going to the max from the beginning until.. well, until there is end of it. psychologically, there is too much at stake. look at Laviolette's speech before Flyer's game at MSG.. it was big preparation before the winter classic.. and they failed it, as well as they failed WC afterwards. Who wins this game, will get a necessary boost in confidence for all other games (PO included). So both teams will be sharp and gritty from first second.