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Sidney Crosby's 4 points, power play propel Penguins to critical win over Flyers

Andrew Destin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

PITTSBURGH — Albeit a rare occurrence, the Penguins have been wildly successful when netting a pair of power-play goals this season.

Though a bit hairier than usual, the Penguins’ success with a man advantage helped them to a critical 7-6 win against the Flyers on Sunday evening at PPG Paints Arena. It didn’t hurt that Sidney Crosby kept up his lifelong dominance against Philadelphia, either, with a four-point night on a goal and three assists.

Rather than slide further down the Metropolitan Division standings, the Penguins’ slim hopes of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs got a needed boost.

Midway through the second period, it appeared to be a contest in which the Penguins would breeze to victory.

Bryan Rust — who left the game in the third period with an apparent upper-body injury — scored his second goal of the game on the power-play, and Emil Bemstrom netted one on the man advantage in his debut with the club. After Bemstrom’s goal, the Penguins led 4-2, with Rust scoring in the first period along with Crosby.

But the pesky Flyers, an upstart and surprisingly successful and resilient team all season, would not go away. Travis Sanheim ripped a scorcher off a faceoff late in the period, leaving Tristan Jarry grasping for air while the Penguins’ lead was cut down to one.

 

Just moments later, Sanheim took an interference penalty that briefly looked like it would foil the Flyers’ momentum. They instead scored a shorthanded goal, with Noah Cates out-skating Erik Karlsson to a loose puck. Cates then whiffed on a wraparound, but Jarry slid out of position and left a wide-open net for Scott Laughton, who drew the count even at four apiece entering the final 20 minutes.

Drew O’Connor provided the go-ahead goal early in the third period, finishing off a strong shift by Evgeni Malkin’s line for his third goal in as many games. Rickard Rakell then doubled the Penguins’ advantage, which proved critical since Cam York drew the Flyers back within one at the midway point of the period.

Kris Letang and Tyson Foerster then traded goals, setting up a decisive final two minutes of regulation, most of which the Flyers present with goalie Cal Petersen on the bench. Jarry kept the Flyers from netting a seventh goal in the game’s waning moments, and the Penguins emerged from a wild contest on top.

ICE CHIPS

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