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.
Philadelphia held Sidney Crosby to one assist and got a goal from Peter Forsberg, but it 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.
The Flyers showed a spark when Simon Gagne and Forsberg scored 1:24 apart in the second period to tie the score 3-3. But Staal slipped one by Antero Niittymaki midway through the third for his 13th goal of the season and helped the Penguins snap a three-game losing streak.
Evgeni Malkin scored twice, and Sergei Gonchar and Mark Recchi also scored for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury was strong in goal for the Penguins.
Ryan Potulny also scored for the Flyers, who lost their sixth straight. The Flyers have won only three games at home this season. The NBA’s 76ers only have five wins at home, making for a dark winter inside the Wachovia Center.
Niittymaki lost his 13th straight decision (0-12-1).
Potulny’s fourth goal gave the Flyers an early 1-0 lead. But Gonchar tied it with a one-time slap shot from the slot and Malkin knocked in a rebound for his 21st goal and a 2-1 lead late in the first.
The rout appeared on again after Recchi made it 3-0 with a wrister from the right circle over Niittymaki’s shoulder. Crosby had the assist on that one, giving him seven goals and nine assists against the Flyers this season.
Gagne tied it with his 21st goal and Forsberg redirected a shot for a power-play goal with 1:18 left in the second period that tied the score 3-3, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Flyers from dropping their eighth straight home game.
Malkin added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Notes: Flyers LW Ben Eager received a game misconduct in the first period. … Gagne was named to the Eastern Conference all-star team.