The Pittsburgh Penguins had no trouble handling Philadelphia's rugged style of play. The Flyers had no answers for the Penguins' offense.
Pittsburgh got two goals by Jordan Staal and rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Flyers on Tuesday night in the opener of a home-and-home series. The Penguins will try to complete the sweep on Thursday at the WachoviaCenter.
Sidney Crosby scored an infrequent Penguins power-play goal 3:30 into the game before things got nasty, featuring a flurry of three fights in 16 seconds. He also set up Bill Guerin's goal about 2 1/2 minutes later, immediately after the first round of pushing, shoving and punching.
Crosby had a three-point night and now has 21 goals and 28 assists in 28 career games against Philadelphia, which managed to fill up the penalty box but not the scoreboard.
"In juniors I've seen that -- back-to-back-to-back [fights] like that -- but not up here," Crosby said. "It was pretty exciting for both teams. It lived up to the rivalry, that game."
The Flyers, 3-1 winners in Boston on Monday night, set the tone with their aggressive style, but couldn't match the Penguins' offense as Pittsburgh won its third in a row and ninth in 12 games.
The fights actually appeared to energize the Penguins.
"Those guys did a great job in those fights and got us going," Staal said. "It's real easy to get up for these games, it's an exciting match every time we play. It's a battle, and I think it's something everyone enjoys."
The Flyers aren't enjoying much these days, They've lost 11 of 14 and are 2-5 -0under new coach Peter Laviolette. They have not lost a home-and-home series against Pittsburgh in 17 years -- something they will try to avoid doing on Thursday.
"When you're not working, you're going to look like that," Laviolette said. "We were on our heels, we're not on our toes, last night [in Boston] we were on our toes. We won the battles, won the races to loose pucks and open areas and tonight we did not."
Flyers captain Mike Richards said something else is missing on a team that's now 15-16-1.
"We're not playing with enough heart right now to win," Richards said.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for the Penguins, who are now 28-0-0 under coach Dan Bylsma when scoring four or more goals.
Crosby opened the scoring when Sergei Gonchar's shot deflected off Ruslan Fedotenko and came to him in the lower right circle. Guerin made it 2-0 at 6:09 by firing Crosby's rebound past Brian Boucher.
Dan Carcillo scored on a power play at 11:46 to make it 2-1, but Staal put the Penguins ahead 3-1 at 14:51 of the second with his second shorthanded goal of the season and 10th of his career. Staal also scored with 15 seconds left in the second period, his 10th. Fedotenko and Evgeni Malkin had third-period goals to complete the rout.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report