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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

PHILADELPHIA – Sidney Crosby picked up his first NHL hat-trick and Evgeni Malkin continued his scoring onslaught as the Penguins rolled to an 8-2 road win Saturday at Philadelphia.

Crosby scored once in the first period and twice in the second for the Penguins (6-3). Malkin, the 20-year-old rookie, continued his hot play with a goal and two assists.

Mike Knuble slammed in a rebound 2:01 into the contest just past Marc-Andre Fleury’s blocker for a 1-0 Flyers lead.

Crosby tied the game at 13:57 on the Penguins’ first shot of the contest. Crosby worked a give-and-go with Ryan Whitney. Skating down the near side, he fired a pass across the slot to Whitney on the far side. Whitney returned the pass and Crosby one-timed it past Antero Niittymaki. Josef Melichar added an assist.

Max Talbot put the Penguins ahead, 2-1, with 9:08 remaining in the period. He slipped through for a short-handed breakaway and beat Niittymaki for a 4-on-3 goal.

Talbot found the back of the net again 2:23 into the second period for a 3-1 Penguins lead. Talbot broke in on the right wing and flipped the puck past Niittymaki. Sergei Gonchar and Noah Welch assisted on the play.

Crosby scored 18 seconds later to push the advantage to 4-1. He slammed in an Malkin rebound. The goal chased Niittymaki as he was replaced in goal by Robert Esche. Mark Eaton added an assist.

With 11:45 left, Crosby completed his first career hat-trick. Skating in front of the net, Crosby crept behind and stole the puck off Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher and backhanded it past Esche for a 5-1 lead.

Malkin made it five goals in five games for the Penguins. From one knee, he one-timed Gonchar’s pass past Esche from a nearly impossible angle. Malkin’s shot deflected off Esche’s leg pad and redirected into the goal for a power-play tally with 6:21 left in the period.

Malkin is the only rookie in Penguins history to score a goal in his first five NHL games.

Stefan Ruzicka scored a power-play goal 1:52 into the third period to trim the Flyers’ deficit to 6-2.

Mark Recchi put the Penguins up 7-2. He pushed in Malkin’s rebound through Esche’s five-hole. Jordan Staal, who carried the puck into the zone and dished to Malkin, added an assist on the play.

Dominic Moore scored his first goal in a Penguins uniform. On a 2-on-1, John LeClair fired a puck across the slot to Moore on the left wing. He rifled the puck into the net for the 8-2 lead. Michel Ouellet added an assist.


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