Nittymaki's relief effort was all for none, as the Pens unleashed a seven goal scoring assault.
Powered by two four point efforts by Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora, the Pittsburgh Penguins stomped the Flyers for their third straight win and fifth of the last seven games. Each tallied two goals and two helpers, contributing to the game's seven goal offensive assault on the struggling Philly club.
Back from a slightly wounded knee, Marian Hossa hit the scoreboard for the first time since the knee-on-knee with a goal late in the second to widen the lead to four. Hossa's trade deadline counterpart Pascal Dupuis also notched three assists on the day.
In efforts to help Petr Sykora attain his first ever career hat trick, Malkin looked to almost make more an effort to assist rather than secure one himself. It was all for none as neither would draw the hats to the ice by the game's end.
The referees no doubt played an integral part in the game's on-ice scrums. Both Mike Richards and Chris Minard were ejected from the game late in the third following an altercation in efforts to maintain the peace since the 100-plus penalty minute game earlier in the season.
Back on December 11, Michel Therrien was beside himself when the Flyers' coaching staff was sending out the top power play units in an already lopsided 8-2 affair. If there's one thing Therrien is not, it's silent on such matters. Perhaps one even remembers [former Flyer] Ben Eager's comment to Therrien - "You're a joke."
Therrien [unsuccessfully] tried to hide the smile of sweet redemption from his face, admirably putting together a power play line consisting of Kennedy, Ruutu and Talbot.
The Penguins coach proved he was the better man, perhaps even the coach of this year's better team, as the Flyers' playoff hopes are teetering on the brink of non-existence.
After today's game the Penguins remain one point behind New Jersey for the lead in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings, tied only with Montreal. The Flyers rest uncomfortably in the eighth place position as the Sabres, Capitals and Panthers are all trying to make a late run for the playoffs.
The next game for the Pens is Tuesday against the Rangers. Game time: 7pm.
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