PITTSBURGH - The Flyers were hoping to build on Monday's impressive win in Boston, but the Pittsburgh Penguins would not cooperate tonight.
They rarely do when they face the Flyers at Mellon Arena.
Jordan Staal scored two goals and Sidney Crosby contributed three points as the Penguins trounced the Flyers, 6-1, and sent Philadelphia to its eighth loss in the last 10 games. They have scored a total of seven goals in those eight defeats.
The Flyers are 2-11 in their last 13 games in Pittsburgh - 3-16 including the playoffs.
Goalie Brian Boucher, playing his second game in as many nights, wasn't sharp as he slipped to 4-8.
Crosby had a goal and two assists; he has 21 goals and 28 assists in his last 28 regular-season games against the Flyers.
Pittsburgh, which has eliminated the Flyers in each of the last two playoffs, will travel to the Wachovia Center for a rematch on Thursday.
What was that line that the late, great Rodney Dangerfield used to utter? Oh, yeah: "I went to a fight the other day and a hockey game broke out."
That was fitting early in a wild first period. In a 16-second span, there were three fights.
Arron Asham and the Penguins' Michael Rupp fought to a draw.
Pittsburgh's Eric Godard decisioned Riley Cote.
The Flyers' Dan Carcillo pounded Craig Adams.
Sandwiched around the first and last bouts were goals that put the Penguins ahead, 2-0, after just 6:09.
It wasn't the way the Flyers wanted to build on Monday's workmanlike 3-1 win, a game in which they played hard for 60 minutes for one of the few times in the last three weeks.
The irrepressible Crosby scored the Penguins' first goal, on a power play, and assisted on the second one.
Defenseman Sergei Gonchar's point drive deflected off teammate Ruslan Fedotenko and caromed to Crosby, who one-timed a shot from the right circle past Boucher at the 3:30 mark.
After the fight-filled theatrics ended, Crosby fired a long shot at Boucher, and Bill Guerin dug the rebound out of his pads and deposited his eighth goal, giving the Pens a 2-0 lead.
Jeff Carter, playing right wing for the second straight night, nearly trimmed the lead in half, but his blast caromed off the left post, and the rebound bounced over Mike Richards' stick.
But the Flyers answered when Carcillo, getting rare time on the power play, scored on a backhanded rebound with 8:14 left in the first period, then skated to the boards and banged the glass to celebrate - and infuriate the Penguins' fans.
The Flyers got another power-play chance a few minutes later, but it resulted in a shorthanded goal by Staal.
It was the teams' first meeting since a 5-4 Pittsburgh win at the Wachovia Center on Oct. 8. In that game, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang accused Scott Hartnell of biting him. Really.
Hartnell was booed loudly and was the subject of derisive chants throughout tonight's game. There were numerous signs about Hartnell at the Igloo, including one that read: "Hartnell says Letang tastes like chicken and is finger-licking good!"
Letang set up the Penguins' fourth goal, virtually sealing the Flyers' fate late in the middle period. Hartnell's pass was picked up by Staal, who started an odd-man rush out of his own zone. That set up a Letang shot from the left circle that Boucher kicked aside, but right to the ever-present Staal, who knocked in his second goal of the night.