(Pittsburgh, PA, December 13) - Sidney Crosby took over the NHL scoring lead with a career-high six points in the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Crosby had one goal and five assists to give him 47 points for the season, three more than New York Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr
Sergei Gonchar had two goals and three assists, Ryan Malone added one goal and three assists, and Mark Recchi had a goal and assist for the Penguins, who have won three in a row. Gonchar and Malone also set career highs in points.
Ryan Potulny had a goal and an assist, and Alexandre Picard set up two goals for the Flyers, who have lost five in a row.
The night belonged to the 19-year-old Crosby, whose previous best was four points in a game - done three times in his one-plus NHL seasons. Crosby has a goal in five straight games and 15 points in six contests.
Crosby has 29 points in 13 career games against the Flyers, including 15 in five games this season - all Penguins victories.
The first five goals of this game were scored in fewer than 13 minutes. The first three came within a span of 1:27 less than six minutes after the opening faceoff. Three of the first-period goals were deflected by players into their own net.
After the Penguins Chris Thorburn scored his third a little more than four minutes in, Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead 60 seconds later when his centering pass to Malone appeared to carom off the skate of Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher and past goalie Antero Niittymaki. It was Crosby's 15th goal of the season.
The Penguins appeared on the way to another rout after outscoring Philadelphia 20-7 in the first four meetings. But the Flyers rallied.
Just four minutes later, Potulny was credited with the Flyers first goal 27 seconds after Crosby's tally. This time the puck went in off the skate of Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Todd Fedoruk tied it 2-2 at 9:07, just after a power play expired.
It took fewer than four minutes for Gonchar to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
Malone scored his first goal of the season at 5:56 of the second period on a rebound of Crosby's shot from the point on the power play. Malone entered the game with only two points in 12 games this season.
Crosby set up each of the next two goals - which came in a span of 2:12 midway through the second. Gonchar's second of the night came at 7:17, and Recchi's eighth of the season at 9:29 made it 6-2.
The Flyers got third-period goals from Kyle Calder and Mike Knuble, but in between Michel Ouellet scored his seventh of the season on the power play.
Jordan Staal added a short-handed goal with 7 seconds left for Pittsburgh.
Notes: The Flyers hadn't lost five games to the Penguins in a season since 1992-93, when they went 1-5-1. ... Philadelphia fell to 1-16-1 when the opponent scores first. The Flyers are 1-12 when trailing after the first period and 0-16-1 when behind after two. ... Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was not in net for the first six minutes of the second period due to an equipment problem. His backup, Jocelyn Thibault, made one save during Fleury's absence. ... Flyers G Martin Houle made his NHL debut in the second period, stopping two of three shots before Niittymaki returned to the game.