PITTSBURGH - Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora each had two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins again had plenty of offence even without the injured Sidney Crosby, beating the slumping Philadelphia Flyers 7-1 Sunday.
Sykora set up both of Malkin's goals, and the Penguins scored seven for the second successive game to win their fifth in six games and move one point behind idle New Jersey, which leads the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division.
Marian Hossa and Hal Gill also scored their first goals since being traded to Pittsburgh last month, with Hossa returning from a six-game layoff because of a knee injury that occurred in his first game with the Penguins on Feb. 28.
Hossa's goal made it 5-1 in the second period and came 31 seconds after Malkin scored his second of the game and 41st of the season, long after the Penguins chased Flyers goalie Martin Biron by taking a 3-0 lead.
Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer until he sprained his right ankle Jan. 18, missed his 23rd game in the Penguins' last 26. But with Malkin getting 17 goals and 23 assists, the Penguins have gone 13-6-4 without Crosby and are contending to win the conference for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
They're also beginning to score like those days of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, winning their last two games by a combined score of 14-4. They beat Buffalo 7-3 on Wednesday as seven players scored goals.
The Penguins started this game much like that one, with rookie Tyler Kennedy again getting a goal and their goalie making early key saves until the offence got rolling. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots against Philadelphia and is 4-1-1 in his last six starts.
Maybe the Flyers shouldn't have got Malkin mad while winning their first four against Pittsburgh this season. After Malkin had a goal and three assists during a 4-3 Penguins victory over the Flyers on Feb. 10, he said, "I don't like that team" - in part because of the way Flyers fans treat the Penguins in Philadelphia.
Malkin has three goals and eight points in his last two games against the Flyers and nine goals and 13 assists in 13 career games against them.
The Flyers, the eighth-place team in the Eastern Conference, have lost four in a row (0-2-2) and six of eight (2-3-3). They pulled Biron after he gave up three goals on eight shots, with Malkin, Sykora and Kennedy scoring.
Antero Niittymaki stopped 24 of 28 shots in relief.
Notes: Crosby has played in 49 games, yet last season's NHL scoring champion is fifth on the Penguins with 22 goals. He trails Malkin (41), Hossa (27), Sykora (25) and Ryan Malone (24). ... The Flyers were without D Derian Hatcher, who may miss the rest of the season after being injured Saturday in Boston. The team is awaiting test results, but Hatcher may have broken his right tibia. ... Flyers C R.J. Umberger, who has six of his 12 goals this season against hometown Pittsburgh, sprained his left knee and sat out all but 7 1/2 minutes.