|Malkin lifts Crosby-less Penguins past Flyers with 2 goals, 2 assists in 7-1 rout|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 17 March 2008 00:20|
Dressed more for a night out than a push for the playoffs, the Penguins captain watched his team do just fine without him - again.
Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora each had two goals and two assists, and the host Penguins managed plenty of offense despite missing the injured Crosby to cruise to a 7-1 victory over the slipping Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
``That's what you need when your top guy goes out,'' said Ryan Malone, who had two assists while skating with Malkin and Sykora. ``There's no reason when Sid comes back that we can't have the same desperation, the same attitude. He's just going to add to us.''
In other NHL games Sunday, it was Calgary 4, Chicago 2; Carolina 5, Ottawa 1; Columbus 4, Detroit 3; Washington 2, Boston 1 in a shootout; Florida 3, Atlanta 1; and Edmonton 2, San Jose 1 in a shootout.
Crosby, the reigning NHL MVP and scoring champion, had the most points in the league when he sprained his right ankle Jan. 18. He recently returned to the lineup, but was forced out again this week, at least for a few games.
Malkin has more than picked up the slack, and is making a serious run on the two titles Crosby captured a season ago. He has 17 goals and 23 assists during Crosby's absence for 23 of the past 26 games.
``He may be the best player in the league right now, and you have to respect that fact,'' Flyers coach John Stevens said of Malkin, in his second NHL season.
The Penguins are 13-6-4 without Crosby and have an eye on their first Eastern Conference crown since 1992-93.
Pittsburgh scored seven goals for the second straight game to win for the fifth time in six. The Penguins are one point behind New Jersey, which leads the East and the Atlantic Division.
Marian Hossa and Hal Gill also scored their first goals since being traded to Pittsburgh last month. Hossa returned from a six-game layoff because of a knee injury that occurred in his first game with the Penguins on Feb. 28.
The Flyers, eighth in the East, have lost four in a row (0-2-2) and six of eight (2-3-3). They pulled Martin Biron after he gave up three goals on eight shots.
Antero Niittymaki stopped 24 of 28 shots in relief.
``It's in our hands right now,'' Philadelphia forward Mike Richards said. ``It's better to be in this situation than to be chasing from behind. We control our destiny, but we better start winning games and playing a whole lot better.''
Oilers 2, Sharks 1, SO
At San Jose, Calif., Dwayne Roloson made 48 saves and stopped three more shots in the shootout, helping Edmonton end the Sharks' franchise-record winning streak at 11 games.
Ales Hemsky scored in regulation and Fernando Pisani got the decisive shootout goal for the Oilers, who won for the fifth time in six games thanks to Roloson. The backup goalie, who memorably led Edmonton past San Jose in the 2006 playoffs, was impeccable while winning his second start in two days after six weeks of mop-up duty behind Mathieu Garon.
Robert Nilsson also scored in the shootout for Edmonton, and Patrick Marleau managed the Sharks' only goal in four tries. San Jose, which hadn't lost since Feb. 20, couldn't get anything past Roloson after Marleau's first-period goal during a two-man advantage.
Capitals 2, Bruins 1, SO
At Washington, Alexander Semin and Viktor Kozlov scored shootout goals to lift the host Capitals.
Sergei Fedorov scored in regulation and Chuck Kobasew tied it for the Bruins in the second period.
With the point, the Bruins moved into a sixth-place tie with the New York Rangers in the East. Washington is two spots and two points behind Philadelphia and the postseason cutoff.
Flames 4, Blackhawks 2
At Chicago, Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius and Dion Phaneuf scored second-period goals, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 34 saves for Calgary.
Adrian Aucoin also scored for the Flames, who climbed into a three-way tie with idle Minnesota and Colorado for first place in the Northwest Division. Calgary's Owen Nolan and Alex Tanguay each had two assists.
Robert Lang and rookie Jonathan Toews each scored their 20th goals for the Blackhawks, who lost for the fifth time in six games (1-4-1).
Hurricanes 5, Senators 1
At Raleigh, N.C., Joe Corvo scored a career-high three goals against his former team, and Cam Ward stopped 16 shots for Carolina.
Patrick Eaves, acquired from Ottawa with Corvo last month, scored his first goal since the trade and helped the Hurricanes improve to 13-4-1 in their past 18 games.
Dany Heatley scored for the Senators.
Blue Jackets 4, Red Wings 3
At Columbus, Ohio, Manny Malhotra had two goals and a career-high three points, and the host Blue Jackets held off Detroit and set a franchise record with 75 points.
Fredrik Norrena made 43 saves and won for the first time since Feb. 7.
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and Nikolai Zherdev also scored for the Blue Jackets, who recorded only 17 shots but beat Detroit for the third straight time.
Johan Franzen scored two power-play goals for Detroit.
Panthers 3, Thrashers 1
At Sunrise, Fla., Olli Jokinen and Rostislav Olesz scored power-play goals for the Panthers, who tied a franchise record with their seventh consecutive victory.
Radek Dvorak added a goal for Florida, which hasn't lost since a 3-2 defeat to Minnesota on Feb. 29. The Panthers also won seven in a row in 1995-96 and 2005-06.
Florida is only two points behind Philadelphia.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored for Atlanta, which has lost nine straight on the road and 12 of 14 overall.