CROSBY, MALKIN, STAAL SCORE TO GIVE PENS 3-2 WIN OVER FLYERS
Once again, the kids came through.
Malkin (2004), Crosby (2005) and Staal (2006) are the Penguins' most-recent first-round picks. All three helped the Penguins snap their five-game losing skid.
"For the most part, I thought we did a great job doing what we needed to do - using our speed and keeping the game simple," said Crosby, who added an assist as well. "No win is easy. I think we're happy to be able to pull that one out."
The Penguins (8-6-2) posted a 39-25 advantage in shots - after struggling to get shots on goal in their losing skid.
"It's something we need to work on," Crosby said. "We made it pretty close to 40 shots. It's definitely a positive thing."
"It was a very important win," Malkin said through translator George Birman. "We had lost five games and we were at home, so it was a must-win game."
Randy Robitaille gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 2:14 into the second period. His cross-crease pass, intended for Simon Gagne, deflected off a stick and trickled through Marc-Andre Fleury's legs.
Crosby tied the game with 13:01 left in the period. On a 2-on-1, Crosby, on the near side, kept the puck and wristed it over Antero Niittymaki's glove. It was an unassisted goal.
Crosby nearly gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead with about 5:00 left when his shot rung off the post on a power play.
Staal did put the Penguins up 2-1 with 4:22 to go. On a 2-on-1, Michel Ouellet flipped the puck across the ice from the near side. Staal, drifting backward through the slot, one-timed the shot past Niittymaki. John LeClair added an assist.
"It was a great play by Johnny and Ouellie," Staal said. "The last couple games our shots were really low, so we tried focusing on bringing the puck to the net and taking advantage of our opportunities."
The Flyers knotted the contest at 2-all 6:28 into the third on Geoff Sanderson's goal.
Malkin provided the game-winner for the Penguins with 2:03 left on the clock. He took Mark Recchi's pass near the edge of the far face-off circle and rifled it past Niittymaki for a 3-2 lead. Crosby assisted on the play.
"I just tried to shoot as hard as possible top shelf," Malkin said.
The Penguins return to action Friday in Buffalo.
ICE CHIPS: Nils Ekman and Eric Cairns were the Penguins' scratches...Peter Forsberg and Eric Meloche were the Flyers' scratches...The announced attendance was 13,781...Crosby (No. 1), Malkin (No. 2) and Niittymaki (No. 3) were the three stars.