Pens beat Flyers, soar into top spot

The Associated Press

The Penguins’ Conor Sheary celebrates after scoring in the second period of Wednesday’s game against the Flyers.

The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sidney Crosby’s continued dominance of the Flyers helped the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins move back into first place.

Conor Sheary scored two goals, Crosby had three assists and Pittsburgh surged into the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the Flyers on Wednesday night.

Phil Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the Penguins, who have won three straight. Pittsburgh (39-25-4, 82 points) moved one point ahead of idle Washington and three in front of third-place Philadelphia.

Crosby continued to haunt the Flyers, upping his total to 91 points in 62 career games against Pittsburgh’s intrastate rival.

“Everybody gets up for it,” Crosby said of the rivalry. “It brings out the best in everybody.”

Crosby’s third assist gave him 1,100 career points.

“His line was dynamic,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Sheary began the game on the fourth line, but played alongside Crosby for parts of the night — and benefited greatly. Crosby assisted on both goals to help Sheary break out of a slump, as he entered without a goal in 15 straight contests.

“He goes to tough areas and plays bigger than he is,” Crosby said of the 5-foot-8 Sheary.

“Thrilled for Conor,” Sullivan said. “Essentially what I told him is, ‘Nothing lasts forever.’”

Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek had goals for the Flyers, who lost their fourth in a row.

“We didn’t play a complete game 5-on-5,” Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. “We made some mistakes.”

The teams combined for six goals in an electrifying second period.

Voracek netted his 15th of the season 2:07 into the period to tie it at 1. Nolan Patrick caused a turnover with strong backchecking, passed to Voracek and his shot from the side boards deflected off Pittsburgh’s Derick Brassard and past Tristan Jarry.

Konecny put Philadelphia ahead 3:54 later when he batted the puck over Jarry’s right pad. But the Penguins scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead into the third.


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