Last night’s 7-0 Penguins victory over the old enemy was certainly not lacking for highlights.
But the moment that resonated most was Evgeni Malkin’s brilliant first-period goal to put the Penguins ahead, 3-0.
Malkin was in the penalty box. The Penguins killed his infraction. Some Flyers were at the end of a long shift.
Malkin charged out of the box, got the puck inside his own blue line in front of the Pens’ bench, and charged diagonally through the neutral zone. Malkin pulled away from Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who quit on the play. Malkin blew by Shayne Gostisbehere – Philadelphia’s top defenseman – like he was invisible. Malkin finished with a backhand that was absolutely sizzling.
That’s a great goal by a superb player.
If last night was a statement win, that was a statement goal. It reminded the Flyers what the Penguins have, and they don’t.
Later in the game, Sidney Crosby reminded the Flyers that again. And again. And again.
Crosby and Malkin are the Penguins’ biggest advantage. Nobody else has the equivalent.