Evgeni Malkin scored two dazzling goals 5 minutes apart to give Pittsburgh a two-goal lead, after Sidney Crosby tied it, and the Penguins rode their two big stars to a 4-2 victory over cross-state rival Philadelphia in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals last night. Malkin, who is only 21 but is the leading scorer in the playoffs with 17 points following a three-point night, scored with 6.5 seconds left in the first period.
The pivotal goal blunted much of the momentum the Flyers gained by briefly taking a 2-1 lead on Mike Richards' two goals. Malkin's first career short-handed goal, on a breakaway created by Sergei Gonchar's pass from one end of the ice to the other early in the second, was the crusher for the Flyers, who didn't do much offensively after that despite taking 28 shots against goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. (Read more NHL stories.)