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Crosby scores goal, leads Penguins to 5-1 win over Flyers in Game 3

  • Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his goal with teammates on Sunday against the Flyers. AP

  • Philadelphia Flyers' Ivan Provorov, left, and Pittsburgh Penguins' Conor Sheary, chase the puck during the first period in Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pa. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) Tom Mihalek

  • Philadelphia Flyers' Radko Gudas, front, and Pittsburgh Penguins' Justin Schultz, battle for control of the puck behind the Flyers' net during the first period in Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pa. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) Tom Mihalek

  • Pittsburgh Penguins' captain Sidney Crosby tightens the laces on his skates during warmups before Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pa. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) Tom Mihalek

  • Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux, back right, raises his arms after a shot by Travus Sanheim (not shown) got past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matthew Murray, left, for a goal during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pa. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) Tom Mihalek



Associated Press
Sunday, April 15, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – The kitschy light-up bracelets flickered in the darkened arena and another packed house roared “Crosby sucks! Crosby sucks!” Here’s the thing Philly fans haven’t yet accepted about Sidney Crosby over the last 13 years, he really doesn’t – and especially not against the Flyers.

Crosby matched a postseason-best with four points on a goal and three assists to help the Pittsburgh Penguins silence the raucous crowd and beat Philadelphia, 5-1, on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

“When we needed to, we made some good plays, we got some big saves and that’s you need this time of year,” Crosby said.

It’s the path Pittsburgh took the last two seasons all the way to parade routes in June.

Crosby, who has 93 points in 63 career regular-season games against Philly, shut up the orange-and-black die-hards with a wraparound goal off a turnover midway through the first.

Crosby had a hat trick in Game 1 and the three-time Stanley Cup champion showed no sign of easing up against his nemesis.

The Flyers haven’t won a playoff series since 2012 and pulled out all the theatrical stops in their return to the postseason after a one-year absence.

Flyers fans even stuck photos of the hated Crosby inside the urinals throughout the arena that had to guarantee they were more on target with their shots than anyone on the home team’s roster.

“It’s not the first building that’s happened in,” Crosby said, smiling. “I don’t know if they stole that idea from someone else.”

Two of the so-called fiercest rivals in the NHL have provided three lopsided games: Pittsburgh’s 7-0 win in Game 1 and Philadelphia’s 5-1 victory in Game 2 could about qualify as nail-bitters in this series.

Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Crosby scored his fourth goal of the series in the first period, and Derick Brassard, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin scored in the second to make it 4-0. Malkin and Dumoulin scored 5 seconds apart.

“After the third goal, I should’ve taken a timeout,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “That would’ve been one thing to stop that momentum.”

Justin Schultz made it 5-1 in the third on Pittsburgh’s third power-play goal of the game.

Matt Murray stopped 26 shots to make it stick.

Brian Elliott, yanked in Game 1, had another rough outing and might need to borrow fellow Wells Fargo Center tenant Joel Embiid’s black mask to have a better look at the puck.

Elliott, who had 21 saves, was stunned at how easily the Penguins scored twice in 5 seconds.

“Guy walking down main street,” he said.

The Flyers ran a video package full of bloody fights, big goals and memorable moments between the teams through the years with a “Bitter Rivals” caption. The Penguins could have just looked in their reflection from the 2016 and 2017 Cups and shrugged off the idea the Flyers are in their league.

Wild 6, Jets 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise scored power-play goals in the first period for the spark Minnesota was missing on the road, and the Wild used a four-goal second to roar back in the first-round playoff series with a 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.

The Wild will try to tie the best-of-seven series 2-2 in Game 4 at home Tuesday night.

Jordan Greenway scored his first NHL goal just 20 seconds after Eric Staal sent a wrist shot past a struggling Connor Hellebuyck, who was pulled for Steve Mason at the second intermission.

Matt Dumba and Marcus Foligno bookended the furious middle frame with goals for the Wild, who won a postseason home game for only the second time in their last nine contests. Mikko Koivu and Nick Seeler each had two assists and Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves, keeping the crowd loud all night.

Blake Wheeler and Tyler Myers scored for the Jets.

Columbus 5, Washington 4, OT

WASHINGTON – Sergei Bobrovsky made 54 saves, Matt Calvert scored the winner 12:22 into overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets overcame two goals from Alex Ovechkin beat the Washington Capitals, 5-4, in Game 2 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Calvert’s goal held up after the NHL situation room reviewed the play for a possible offside. Calvert was just onside when Josh Anderson brought the puck into the zone.

Columbus heads home for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday two victories away from advancing to the second round for the first time in franchise history. The Blue Jackets stunned the Metropolitan Division-champion Capitals with back-to-back overtime wins and have the advantage thanks in large part to the play of Bobrovsky.

The two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender continued his playoff reputation rehab tour by keeping his team in the game. Bobrovsky, who entered the arena in a beige trenchcoat as sharp as his play in net, entered these playoffs 3-10 with a 3.73 goals-against average and .887 save percentage but has now stopped 81 of 88 shots through two games.

Cam Atkinson scored twice, Anderson had a goal at even strength and Zack Werenski added one on the power play for the Blue Jackets, who have the odds on their side. In Stanley Cup playoff history, 86.4 percent of teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series have gone on to win it.