Lupul has six points, Umberger five in Flyers' 8-2 rout of Penguins

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

PHILADELPHIA - Joffrey Lupul's two quick goals got him on a fast track for the Flyers' first hat trick at home in two years. R.J. Umberger made the fans' wait much shorter for another one.

Lupul notched a hat trick and had six points, and Umberger added three goals and five points to snap Philadelphia's five-game winless skid at home and lift the Flyers to an 8-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

"That doesn't happen anymore," Lupul said.

Taking a few extra minutes to sweep off the hats from a pair of three-goal performances were about the only thing that slowed down the Flyers.

"The puck just bounced our way and we were there to finish," Umberger said.

Lupul had the first six-point game for a Flyer since Eric Lindros on March 1, 1997, against Toronto. The Flyers also had two players with a hat trick in the same game for the first time since Tim Kerr and Dave Poulin each had three goals against the Islanders on Dec. 18, 1986.

The Flyers improved to 3-0 this season against their Atlantic Division rival, a needed turnaround after an 0-8 mark against the Penguins last year. The Flyers also won their first home game since they improved to 6-0 at the Wachovia Center with a win over the Islanders on Nov. 12.

"We definitely have a chip on our shoulder and it's not just the guys that were here last year," Umberger said. "I think the guys that have come in know exactly what happened and they don't want to be a part of that."

Sidney Crosby assisted on both goals for the Penguins, who ended a four-game winning streak. Ryan Whitney and Petr Sykora scored goals in the first period that tied the score at 2-2.

A flurry of fights seemed to spark the Flyers and send the Penguins into a post-game snit. Flyers coach John Stevens complained about Pittsburgh's rough play late in the third when the game was already out of reach, and there was a combined total of 156 penalty minutes.

"I think we're back to playing Flyers hockey and challenging them," Umberger said.

Penguins coach Michael Therrien accused the Flyers of playing with a lack of respect.

"Are we talking about the same team that got five guys suspended this year? Is that the same team?" he said.

There was a fight only 20 seconds in the game and some hard hits and scuffles throughout that the crowd absolutely loved. Pittsburgh's Colby Amstrong and Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell each received game misconducts in the third for a lengthy brawl.

The Flyers faithful rode Crosby hard, booing the Penguins captain every time he touched the puck.

"I think we had to stick up for each other at one point," Crosby said. "They have a lot of guys who play physical and probably take it beyond physical sometimes but beyond that I think it's just sticking up for one another."

The Flyers scored five goals against goalie Dany Sabourin before he was yanked for Ty Conklin to start the third.

Lupul scored the first two goals, one in the third and assisted on all three of Philadelphia's goals in the second period. Lupul, who started the game with six goals and 17 points, had his best game as a Flyer and arguably his finest since he scored four goals for Anaheim in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal against Colorado in 2006.

Lupul started the scoring only 1:11 into the game when he took a perfect pass from Umberger for a one-timer past Sabourin. He scored goal No. 2 only 2 1/2 minutes later when he fired a slap shot from the slot that sent an already fired-up crowd into a frenzy.

Lupul capped the Flyers second hat trick of the season - first at home - when he knocked in a rebound in front of the crease that made it 6-2 and the hats were hurled onto the ice.

"It's special, but when it's 6-2, they don't mean a lot," Lupul said. "The two in the first period felt better than the one in the third period."

Crosby tried to rally his team in the first when he set up two Penguins goals that tied the game at 2-2.

Umberger scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season early in the second for a 4-2 lead and the Flyers took control from there. He added his third goal with 2:12 left in the game.

Mike Knuble added his ninth goal late in the third for a 5-2 lead. Braydon Coburn's second goal of the year in the third made it 7-2 for the Flyers, who had the most goals scored against Pittsburgh this year.



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