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game recap

Penguins defeat Flyers for fifth straight win

Hagelin, Kunitz score late in second as Philadelphia fails to gain ground

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins did something Saturday they'd never done in their 49-year rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers. 

The Penguins limited the Flyers to 17 shots on goal, the fewest ever by Philadelphia against Pittsburgh, which used that defense for a 4-1 win at Wells Fargo Center. 

"I thought it was the most complete game that we've played to this point at both ends of the rink," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought when the time came to have to defend, we defended hard. Our attention to detail was really good. I thought everybody trusted one another out there. And when we play that way, we're hard to play against." 

Pittsburgh (39-24-8) won its fifth straight game. The win, combined with the New York Islanders' 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars, allowed the Penguins to move past the Islanders and into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Video: PIT@PHI: Kunitz tallies on lucky bounce off boards

Carl Hagelin and Chris Kunitz scored 1:29 apart late in the second period to put the Penguins ahead. Trevor Daley and Kris Letang scored, and Nick Bonino had two assists. Sidney Crosby had an assist to extend his point streak to 11 games, tied for his longest this season, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves. 

The loss was the Flyers' third in 11 games (8-2-1). Philadelphia (34-24-12) fell three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings beat the Florida Panthers 5-3.

The Flyers scored at least three goals in nine of their previous 10 games. Radko Gudas scored, and Steve Mason made 31 saves. Mason started because goaltender Michal Neuvirth wasn't feeling right, according to general manager Ron Hextall, who said Neuvirth would be re-evaluated Sunday. 

The Flyers had two power plays in the first period and a 2-on-1 with Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn that Schenn put off the outside of the net in the first minute. 

Video: PIT@PHI: Hagelin roofs one to give Pens lead

"It was that kind of game for us," Giroux said. "[Schenn] doesn't miss those often. ... It's just that kind of night for us." 

The 17 shots were a season low allowed by Pittsburgh and taken by Philadelphia. 

"The Flyers are a team that has a lot of skill," Letang said. "If they're not shooting from the point, they really pick their shots. They're a really tough team to defend because they hold onto the puck. We didn't allow them to have shots from the middle. They have tons of skill, lot of speed. When you allow these guys to skate in the middle, you're going to be in trouble. Pack it in the middle and make sure they stay to the outside; that was the key." 

The Penguins were opportunistic on Flyers turnovers, which directly led to the game-changing goals by Hagelin and Kunitz in the final 3:04 of the second period. 

Video: PIT@PHI: Daley buries Bonino's pretty feed

Under pressure by Penguins forward Phil Kessel, Flyers forward Ryan White turned over the puck along the wall deep in the Flyers zone. Bonino centered a pass to Hagelin, who scored at 16:56 to put the Penguins ahead 2-1.

"When Phil engages like that down low, he's a big body, he's strong, and when he engages like that he's hard to play against," Sullivan said. "I thought he made the whole play." 

A Mark Streit turnover at the Penguins blue line led to a transition opportunity that Kunitz finished at 18:25. His shot hit off the end boards, caromed into the crease and went in off the back of Mason's pads to make it 3-1. 

Letang scored an empty-net goal with 1:38 remaining in the third period. A centering pass from Kunitz hit Letang's skate and referees called no goal. But after replay review the goal was counted.

Video: PIT@PHI: Gudas tallies from point through traffic

"We didn't sit back," Crosby said. "We didn't get a ton of shots (35), but I thought we were skating instead of sitting back and giving them room." 

The Penguins play Sunday at the Washington Capitals (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

"We don't have a lot of time to think about this one," Crosby said. "We're playing tomorrow, so we have to turn the page pretty quick. Just try to ride this momentum as long as we can. We're playing good hockey and we're giving ourselves a chance every night playing this way." 

The Flyers start a four-game road trip Monday at the New York Islanders. 

"We've got [12] games left, so let's not worry about this one too much and be ready for next one," Giroux said.

Video: Pens down Flyers for fifth straight win

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