NHL Playoffs 2012: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin Trade Sticks for Clubs

Professor BushCorrespondent IIIApril 22, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22:  Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins just gets his stick on the puck to make a save on Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Today, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins trade in their hockey sticks for golf clubs. Maybe the two best hockey players in the world will have better luck in a new sport. The Philadelphia Flyers took Game 6 by a score of 5-1 to win the Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Pens.

You knew it was going to be the Flyers' day at the start of the game when the officials let Claude Giroux check Crosby without drawing a penalty. And then when Giroux scored just 32 seconds into the game, the Flyers were off and running.

Scott Hartnell scored later in the first period to give the Flyers the 2-0 lead. The big goal of the game, and maybe the series, came from an unlikely source: backup defenseman Erik Gustafsson, who gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead.

The Pens finally scored in the middle of the second period with a Malkin goal on the power play. Sean Couturier, trying to score a short-handed goal, fell down behind the Penguin's goal, giving the Pens a 5-3 rush. But then Danny Briere scored 30 seconds later, restoring the Flyers' three goal lead.

This game was won by the Flyers' team defense. They got into passing lanes, blocked 40 shots and smothered Crosby and Malkin with love all over the ice. And just for good measure, they killed off a 6-4 power play when the Pens pulled the goalie late in the game. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov didn't really have a lot to do.

With a little bit of luck, the Flyers might get the home-ice advantage in the second round, because the top two seeds in the East, the Rangers and Bruins, are both trailing in their series.