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Pens oust Flyers, Sharks alive

THE Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a three-goal deficit to oust the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 on Saturday but the San Jose Sharks kept their Stanley Cup hopes alive with a 3-2 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks.

The Chicago Blackhawks, meanwhile, crushed the Calgary Flames 5-1 on the back of a two-minute goal blitz in the first period to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven first round National Hockey League series.

Sidney Crosby scored twice to help put Pittsburgh in the second round, the Penguins netting five goals after trailing 0-3 to win the series 4-2.

A fight between Pittsburgh's Max Talbot and Flyers enforcer Daniel Carcillo helped inspire the Penguins, Crosby said.

"Anytime a guy puts himself on the line like that you want to make sure you follow it up," he said. "We just built off that and built some momentum off that fight."

Within a 12-minute span of the second period, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mark Eaton and Crosby all had goals to tie the score at 3-3.

Sergei Gonchar added the game-winner 2:19 into the third and Crosby had an empty-netter with less than a minute to play.

Mike Knuble, Joffrey Lupul and Danny Briere put the Flyers ahead.

With the victory, the Penguins joined the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins in the second round of the playoffs.

In San Jose, Patrick Marleau scored 6:02 into overtime as the Sharks, who had the league's best regular season record, avoided elimination by the scrappy Ducks, who lead the series 3-2 going into Game 6 in Anaheim tomorrow.

Goals by Joe Thornton in the first and Devin Setoguchi in the second staked San Jose to a 2-0 lead with one period to play but the Ducks, who had twice beaten the Sharks in San Jose to open the playoff series, struck back through Ryan Carter and Corey Perry. Jonas Hiller helped keep Anaheim in the game with 45 saves but Evgeni Nabokov got the win with 23 stops.

The Blackhawks' three goals in the opening period in Chicago matched the number of shots Calgary had in the first period, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg all finding the net in just over two minutes.


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