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Penguins' Crosby, Letang out against Flyers

Pittsburgh captain held out with 'bumps and bruises' for precautionary reasons

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang will not play against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN1) on Saturday.

"Sidney Crosby is dealing with some bumps and bruises so we're going to hold him out for precautionary reasons," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. 

Letang will be a healthy scratch.

The Penguins have won eight straight games and 14 of 15 (14-1-0), and have clinched second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers trail the Boston Bruins by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They can clinch a playoff berth Saturday with a regulation or overtime win against the Penguins if the Detroit Red Wings lose to the New York Rangers in regulation and the Bruins lose to the Ottawa Senators in regulation. 

"From my standpoint it's my responsibility to make sure that I try to make the best decision for our hockey team," Sullivan said. "That's the decision we made moving forward. The reality is there are 82 games in the schedule for teams to take control of what they can, to put their teams in the best position. That's what we've tried to do with our club [and] that's what we'll continue to try to do with our club."

Sullivan said goalie Matt Murray will start for the Penguins, and the forward lines and defense pairings would be determined after pre-game warmup.

Kael Mouillierat was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League and will be in the lineup for the Penguins. 

Goalie Steve Mason will make his 12th straight start for the Flyers. Coach Dave Hakstol said there was no thought given to starting Michal Neuvirth, who hasn't played since March 16. He will be the backup for the second straight game after missing three weeks because of a lower-body injury. 

"Nothing to do with [Neuvirth]," Hakstol said. "It's all about [Mason]. He's played well, done a good job. He's ready to go."

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