Sunday, January 14, 2007

Penguins 5 - Flyers 3: Flying High

Another day, another victory over the Flyers. If the Penguins DO make the playoffs, it will be thanks to the generous donations of the Flyers to the Penguins Victory Fund.

Sidney and the Pens played a solid game in getting themselves a 5-3 win, despite the fact that Sidney didn't do a whole lot.

Sidney finished with just 1 assist, -1 and took 2 minor penalties in 19:32 of ice time.

Not even slowing down Sidney Crosby could help Philadelphia.

Crosby had enough help from Evgeni Malkin and rest of the Penguins to keep them perfect against the worst team in the league.

Malkin scored twice, Jordan Staal got the go-ahead goal in the third period and Pittsburgh beat the Flyers 5-3 on Saturday for its sixth victory this season against its cross-state rival.

"I don't know. Part of it is just confidence," Staal said. "Once you get a couple going on them, you're more confident playing a team like that. I can't really say why we beat them every time."

At least this one was close, with the Flyers rallying from a two-goal deficit to tie the score, unlike some of the previous meetings. The Penguins have twice scored eight goals against the NHL-worst Flyers, and shut them out in the season opener.

"We try to make a stand against a team and they still found a way to win the game and we found a way to lose it," Flyers right wing Mike Knuble said. "We've got to make some sort of progress. We've got to win one of those for once."

Philadelphia held Crosby to one assist and got a goal from Peter Forsberg, but it still wasn't enough. With an Eagles playoff game only hours away, the surprisingly strong crowd got more enjoyment out of shouting "E-A-G-L-E-S!" for several stretches in this one. And why not? After all, the Flyers gave them little reason to cheer.

"We don't take that step forward," Knuble said. "All of us are struggling to find a reason why."

The Flyers showed a spark when Simon Gagne and Forsberg scored 1:24 apart in the second period to tie the score at 3. But Staal slipped one by Antero Niittymaki midway through the third for his 13th goal of the season, helping the Penguins snap a three-game losing streak.

Malkin had an assist on that one.

"I just jumped in. It was a picture-perfect pass," Staal said. "I just had to tap it in."

Maybe it's the kind of play the two can use in the NHL YoungStars game during All-Star weekend. Staal and Ryan Whitney also were selected from the Penguins to represent the Eastern Conference.

Sergei Gonchar and Mark Recchi also scored for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury was solid in goal with 15 saves.

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