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Flyers' pair helps Philly soar over Pens

by Brian Compton

Joffrey Lupul had six points (three goals, three assists) as the Flyers went 4-for-14 on the power play in an 8-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night.
Some random thoughts before I break the news to my wife that I’m canceling MTV:

Déjà vu All Over Again -- What are the chances of notching six points in a game?

OK, now what are the chances of a six-point game happening twice in three nights?

Joffrey Lupul had six points (three goals, three assists), while R.J. Umberger had five (three goals, two assists) as the Flyers went 4-for-14 on the power play in an 8-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night.

Sunday night, Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny accomplished the same exact feat as Lupul and Umberger in the Colorado Avalanche’s 9-5 win against the St. Louis Blues. See, sequels can be as good as the original. Sure, it’s taken all of us a long time to get over that Caddyshack 2 disaster, but it’s been long enough where we should start feeling optimistic again.

The demolition of the Pens snapped a five-game winless streak on home ice for the Flyers, who hadn’t won in Cheesesteak Country since Nov. 12. It also pulled Philadelphia within a point of Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey, which was idle Tuesday.

What a difference a year makes. It was only last season that the Flyers were in possession of the League’s worst record and went 0-8 against the Pens.

”We definitely have a chip on our shoulder and it's not just the guys that were here last year,” Umberger said. “I think the guys that have come in know exactly what happened and they don't want to be a part of that.”

Two Down, Four To Go -- Thanks to some late heroics from Jarome Iginla and some more stellar goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff, the Calgary Flames are 2-for-2 on their six-game road trip following Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win at Florida.

Kiprusoff made 32 saves for the Flames, who tied the game at 1-1 with only 10.2 seconds to play in regulation when Iginla finally solved Vokoun.

”It was the right guy to get the puck,” Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. “You can't have a better player on our behalf to pick up that puck.”

In the shootout, Kiprusoff denied Olli Jokinen, Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss, who all tried to deke against the Calgary netminder, to help the Flames get to the .500 mark at 13-13-5.

”I like to challenge shooters a lot, so maybe they did some scouting,” Kiprusoff said. “It's pretty tough for me, but today I was able to close my 5-hole.”

Calgary will look to make it 3-for-3 on this road trip Thursday night at Tampa Bay. Don’t expect John Tortorella to be waiting at the top of the jetway with flowers.

Quick Turnaround -- Pretty impressive how the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to regroup after Monday’s massacre in Toronto.

One night after getting pounded in a 6-1 loss to the Maple Leafs, Tampa got some solid goaltending from backup Marc Denis, while Vincent Lecavalier scored his 20th goal of the season in a 3-2 shootout win against the Canadiens in Montreal.

That’s eight-straight years of 20 goals or more for Lecavalier, who had an NHL-best 52 tallies last season. Only The Simpsons have been more consistent.

Don’t Go To A Shootout! -- Memo to 29 NHL teams: If you’re playing the Edmonton Oilers, and the game goes to overtime, you may as well go for broke and pull the goalie.

The Oilers improved to 8-1 this season in the shootout with Tuesday’s 5-4 victory at St. Louis. Mathieu Garon -- one of the most underrated acquisitions of the summer -- denied David Perron, Brad Boyes and Doug Weight in the shootout, as the Oilers improved to 2-10-3 in St. Louis since the 1999-2000 season.

“He's pretty special the way he plays in shootouts,” Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said of Garon, who has yet to allow a shootout goal in 11 chances on the road this season.

Better Effort, Better Result -- Three nights after getting spanked in their own rink by the Buffalo Sabres, the San Jose Sharks picked up only their second win in their last six home games by outplaying the Minnesota Wild in a 4-1 win Tuesday night. The Sharks are just 5-6-2 on home ice this season.

Evgeni Nabokov, who has started every game this season for San Jose, made 36 saves in the victory, with 17 of them coming in the third period.

Just out of curiosity, will Nabokov ever get a night off? I haven’t seen anyone work this hard since William Hung’s American Idol audition.

Brian Compton can be e-mailed at:

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