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game recap

Murray makes 50 saves, Penguins top Flyers to end four-game losing streak

Bjugstad scores first goal with Pittsburgh; Malkin gets match penalty in return from injury

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Bjugstad scores in 400th NHL game

PIT@PHI: Bjugstad nets first goal with Penguins

Nick Bjugstad whips a wrister under the pads of Carter Hart to notch his first goal with the Penguins in his 400th career game

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PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Murray made an NHL career-high 50 saves, including 28 in the second period, in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

Nick Bjugstad scored his first goal for Pittsburgh (29-20-7), which ended a four-game losing streak. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, and Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang scored.

"They do a good job of getting pucks through, tips like that," Murray said. "You've got to give them a lot of credit, they made it a really hard night for us."

 

[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Flyers highlights]

 

Carter Hart made 24 saves for Philadelphia (25-24-7) but lost for the first time in nine games, dating to Jan. 12. The 20-year-old was trying to set a record for longest winning streak by a goalie before his 21st birthday. His eight straight wins left him tied with Jocelyn Thibault of the Quebec Nordiques, who went 8-0-0 from March 6-26, 1995.

Jakub Voracek scored for the Flyers, who lost in regulation for the first time in 11 games (9-1-1).

"I think all game we played well," Flyers center Sean Couturier said. "We created a lot of chances, couldn't capitalize."

A win could have pulled the Flyers within four points of the Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is eight points back with 26 games remaining.

The Penguins' closest competitor in the playoff race is the Carolina Hurricanes, who are three points behind.

"It's really close right now," Crosby said. "We know that it's going to be tight all the way down the stretch here. It's something we should be excited for."

Philadelphia's 28 shots on goal in the second set a Flyers record for a single period; they had 25 in a period twice previously.

Video: PIT@PHI: Murray sets career high with 50 saves

"You try to do what you can to stop the puck," Murray said. "I think they had quite a few power plays, and that obviously will inflate the shot totals a little bit."

The Flyers' 51 shots on goal were their most since Jan. 1, 2017, when they had 55 against the Anaheim Ducks.

"We played a good game," Philadelphia forward Wayne Simmonds said. "I don't think the shots were perimeter shots. Thought we were getting good opportunities."

Crosby made it 1-0 at 8:19 of the first period when he scored from the post to Hart's left.

Video: PIT@PHI: Crosby puts home loose puck for opening goal

Bjugstad, acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers on Feb. 1, scored from the left circle to make it 2-0 at 7:04 of the second.

Evgeni Malkin, back in the lineup after missing the previous five because of an upper-body injury, set up the goal.

It was the first time Bjugstad played with Malkin, and he's hoping it's not his last.

"It's one thing to watch him play, but when you're playing with him you pick up on stuff he's doing what other guys can't do," he said. "He's coming up with pucks all the time, then he makes plays right off of those, plays that usually end up as a chip-in or the puck going the other way. It's good to have him back. He's definitely a presence on this team and on the ice every time he's out there."

Guentzel's 27th goal gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead at 14:46 of the third period.

Voracek scored a power-play goal to make it 3-1 at 15:26 of the third after Malkin was given a match penalty 20 seconds earlier when he swung his stick at Flyers forward Michael Raffl.

Malkin will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday for high sticking/slashing.

Video: PIT@PHI: Voracek slams home power-play goal

"I'm not trying to like hit his face," Malkin said. "I know I'm not playing smart then, like five minutes left. … I know it gives them five-minute power play, but it's my fault for sure. Play smart next time." 

Letang scored an empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining for the 4-1 final.

 

They said it

"Just a really great game for [Murray]. I don't know where to rank it, he's played well for us for a long time. You don't want to expect that, but in a way you kind of do at this point from him. He's a big-game goalie." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

 

"Was a four-point game, was the biggest game of the year. We gained a lot of ground the last 10 games; be even better if we won tonight. But it's not over. Just got to keep grinding." -- Flyers forward Jakub Voracek

 

Need to know

Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta missed the final two periods because of an upper-body injury. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said he would be evaluated Tuesday. ... Letang's goal was his 109th, passing Paul Coffey for most by a Penguins defenseman. ... Crosby's three points gave him 1,181 (435 goals, 746 assists) and moved him past Sergei Fedorov for 50th in NHL history. ... Voracek has nine points (three goals, six assists) during a seven-game point streak.

 

What's next

Penguins: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS)

Flyers: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Video: Murray, Crosby lead Penguins past Flyers

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