NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
(Sunday, March 16th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 7, Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Petr Sykora and Evgeni Malkin each tallied two goals and two assists, as the Pittsburgh Penguins ripped the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-1, at Mellon Arena.
Hal Gill added a goal and assist, while Tyler Kennedy tallied, and Marian Hossa scored in his home debut for red-hot Penguins. They have won three in a row, and scored 18 goals in the span, including back-to-back seven-goal games.
The Penguins also moved into the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 89 points, breaking a tie with Ottawa, which lost to Carolina on Sunday. Pittsburgh is now just a point behind idle New Jersey, which holds the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and the conference.
Pittsburgh played without Sidney Crosby, who is still recovering from a high ankle sprain. But it did get back Hossa -- the team's big acquisition before the trade deadline -- after he missed six games with a sprained right knee. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24-of-25 shots in the win.
"It is nice to be able to play with confidence with the puck. I was most impressed with our defensive game," Penguins head coach Michel Therrien said. "We stuck to our system from the beginning to the end. That was a great game for us."
Mike Knuble scored the only goal for Philadelphia, whose losing streak reached four games. The Flyers, who currently occupy the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 80 points, failed to put any distance between themselves and idle Buffalo, which sits just one point back.
Martin Biron started and allowed three goals on eight shots before being pulled in favor of Antero Niittymaki, who stopped 24-of-28 shots.
The Flyers had a power play just 52 seconds into the contest, but couldn't capitalize as the game quickly turned into a runaway. The Penguins got on the scoreboard at the 4:33 mark, on a backhander from Malkin.
He wheeled around counter-clockwise in the right circle, and sent a shot in on net that squeaked by Biron at the near post. Nine seconds later, Philadelphia got another power play, but again didn't score.
Roughly two minutes after that ended Sykora put the Penguins up, 2-0. The Flyers failed to clear the puck out of their defensive zone, and Malkin got control of the puck. He skated to the left circle, threaded a pass to the right, and Sykora hammered in the one-timer at 8:38.
Kennedy then gave the Penguins a three-goal lead just 4:15 into the middle frame, as he lofted a backhander over a diving Biron, whose day was finished.
"You know you're going to get some opportunities as the game moves along," Flyers head coach John Stevens said. "But to get down early like we did, it seemed like it may have lost the battle for us."
At the 12:43 mark of the same period, Knuble brought the Flyers within two, on a shot that got by Fleury and barely crossed the goal line.
But a little more than two minutes later, Malkin tallied his 41st goal of the season. Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn crashed into Niittymaki and knocked the goaltender out of position, leaving Malkin with a wide-open net and the score, to push Pittsburgh ahead 4-1.
Hossa ended the second-period scoring, a scant 31 seconds after the Penguins' fourth goal, with his own goal on a shot from the inner edge of the right circle.
Sykora tallied his second goal nine minutes into the third period, and Gill scored with 4:22 left to end the rout.
Philadelphia forward R.J. Umberger left with a sprained knee, and did not return...The teams were a combined 0-for-8 on power plays...Pascal Dupuis had three assists for the Penguins, while Ryan Malone had two...The Flyers start a three-game homestand Tuesday against Atlanta...Pittsburgh travels to New York Tuesday to face the Rangers.
03/16 19:46:57 ET