Peguins-Flyers: Pennsylvania's Cold War Begins

Shawn DommerAnalyst IMay 9, 2008

The Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh was washed in white as the Penguins again called for a "white out" making "the Igloo" a very chilly place for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Penguins gave their fans something to cheer about by getting off to a fast start with a goal by Petr Sykora 6:19 into the game. He was assisted by Ryan Malone and Evgeni Malkin.

The crowd became slightly less excited when Michael Richards and the Flyers responded with two straight goals. Richards scored both, the first coming 8:30 into the game coming from the sticks of Coburn and Umberger.

Richards' second goal came nearly four and a half minutes later when he put one past Marc Andre Fleury 12:50 in. He was assisted by Lupul and Umberger again.

This would be the last time the Flyers would light the red lamp as Fleury held them scoreless for the remaining 47 minutes. 

The arena fell into a stunned silence, which only lasted a minute and a half until Pittsburgh's captain, Sidney Crosby, tied the game at two at 14:11, assisted by Marian Hossa.

It must have been a relief for Sid the Kid after not netting a goal in the Eastern Conference Semis versus the Rangers.

With Sykora, Hossa, and Crosby all notching points, Evgeni Malkin needed to get in the game. The Russian made sure his scores were the most exciting of the night.

With seven seconds remaining in the first period, Malkin received a pass from Ryan Whitney.  It gave the Penguins the lead and inviting Mr. Mo Mentum to spend the intermission with the Pens.

The intermission clearly did not cool Malkin down. In the fifth minute of the second period on a Flyer's powerplay, Malkin received a pass from Sergei Gonchar at the blue line.

Malkin was all alone and lifted his stick to take a slap shot. The crowd collectively held its breath as Malkin unleashed his shot within 10 feet of the goaltender Martin Biron, who had no chance.

Malkin continued building his Conn Smythe resume with his seventh and eighth goals and ninth assist.

The Penguins then clamped down on defense, playing a physical game like they have throughout the playoffs.

The Penguins are 9-1 in the playoffs so far and are undefeated at home.

The series is expected to be physical, and the play certainly was. The referees let the players play as there were only 10 penalties in the game. Tempers started to flare late in the third after Marian Hossa recieved an uncalled high stick.

A few minutes later Darien Hatcher took a cheap shot at Chris Letang, prompting a response from Evgeni Malkin. Look for the powder keg to explode sometime in the series, especially if Philly gets down and becomes frustrated.

Fleury continued his fantastic playoff run making 26 saves and shutting the Flyers down.

Game two will be played Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.