There's a new points leader in the NHL.
The Flyers ended the Pittsburgh Penguins' 12-game winning streak and took over first place in the Atlantic Division and in the NHL overall with a workmanlike 3-2 victory Tuesday night before a roaring sellout crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers' power play struggled mightily, but it connected when it mattered the most, getting a goal by Scott Hartnell to snap a 2-2 tie with 10 minutes, 6 seconds left.
Chris Pronger fired a shot that appeared to deflect off Hartnell's body and over the shoulder of stunned goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
It was Pittsburgh's first regulation loss since a 7-4 defeat to Boston on Nov. 10. The Pens had been on a 14-0-1 run and were trying to set a franchise record with an eighth straight road win.
Instead, the Flyers, who are one point ahead of the Penguins, extended their run to 8-1-3 and their points streak to six games. They have won three of four meetings against the Penguins this year, and all three victories were by 3-2 scores.
Brian Boucher made 21 saves as the Flyers improved to 20-7-5. They were 15-16-1 at the same point last season.
Evgeni Malkin scored a pair of power-play goals for Pittsburgh, which had a six-on-four late in the game but was stymied by the Flyers' penalty killers.
The Flyers outshot the visitors, 37-23.
A sensational goal by the much-maligned Nik Zherdev gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 7:32 left in the second period.
James van Riemsdyk hit Zherdev with a pass in the neutral zone, and the speedy winger raced into the Penguins end and undressed defenseman Brooks Orpik with a gorgeous move in the left circle. Zherdev circled to his right and fired a shot from the low slot over the right shoulder of goalie Fleury for his 10th goal.
Zherdev, who spent most of the night on a line with Jeff Carter and van Riemsdyk, had been a healthy scratch in the Flyers' previous game, a 2-1 overtime win in Boston on Saturday. He played last night instead of Jody Shelley, who began serving a two-game suspension.
During their previous 12 games the Penguins had never trailed heading into the third period.
But the Flyers gave their cross-state rivals an uphill battle.
Just because they took a long winning streak into the game, the Penguins weren't an overconfident team.
"Every game against Philadelphia is always intense, and there's always a little bit of something extra, especially with the way the two teams are now," Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby said before the game. "If there was possible to add anything to it, it would be now. . . . Both teams bring out the best in each other."
The Flyers controlled the first part of the opening period, but Andreas Nodl couldn't convert a pair of great scoring chances. Nodl fired wide of an empty net as he followed Matt Carle's shot with 16:16 left in the first period. A little over seven minutes later, Nodl tried a spin-o-rama from in front but partially fanned, and Fleury was able to make the save.
But with 7:28 to play in the first period, after Fleury stopped Hartnell's shot, Danny Briere alertly shoved the rebound to Claude Giroux, who was wide open to his left. Giroux knocked in his 15th goal, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The Flyers took that lead into the second period. In their previous 12 games, the Penguins had trailed once after the first period.
The lead lasted about 19 minutes. Pittsburgh tied it as Malkin, who had missed the previous four games with a knee injury, one-timed a right-circle blast past Brian Boucher with 11:37 left in the second period. Crosby picked up an assist, increasing his points streak to 19 games.
About 11/2 minutes later, the Flyers nearly tied it with a power-play goal of their own. Fleury turned aside Pronger's point drive, but Hartnell, with a wide-open net, sent a backhander wide of the left post.
Zherdev made it 2-1, but Malkin tied it with another power-play goal - this one on a four-on-three situation - with 16:42 remaining in the third period. Malkin scored from the high slot as Boucher appeared to be screened on the play.
The 12-game winning streak the Penguins carried into the night was tied for the eighth-longest in NHL history. The record: 17, set by the 1992-93 Penguins.