PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Matt Murray drank an energy drink in part of his post-game interview. It is not surprising that the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender needs to rehydrate after such an intense outing.
Murray made 50 career saves and Sidney Crosby scored a goal and an assist to lead the Penguins to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.
"When we're out there, we do not really think about that," Murray said of the total throws. "You just do what you can to try to stop the puck."
Jake Guentzel and Nick Bjugstad also scored and Kris Letang offered an empty pass to the Penguins, who ended a four-game losing streak while claiming for the fourth time in 12 games. Pittsburgh came into possession of the last place in the Eastern Conference.
Murray was a wall for the Penguins, resisting a Philadelphia offensive wave that included a franchise record of 28 throws in the second period.
"He was great, especially in the second half," said coach Mike Sullivan. "That's the kind of game he's capable of."
Jakub Voracek scored for Philadelphia, who lost for the second time in 11 games. The Flyers could have scored a four-point win at Pittsburgh, but are now eight points behind the Penguins. The disappointment of the Flyers comes from the defeat, but not from their game.
"We play like that, we have nothing to fear," said interim coach Scott Gordon.
Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart had eight straight wins before breaking an NHL record before turning 21. The 20-year-old also finished the match by beating Pelle Lindbergh for the Flyers rookie record for consecutive wins. Hart had 24 stops.
"I must be better than today," Hart said.
Crosby opened the Penguins 1-0 with a tough goal with 11:41 to go in the first period. Hart lost sight of the puck behind the net and it was peeled off the glass towards Crosby to the right of the crease. While Hart was still looking in the other direction, Crosby scored a goal in the empty half of the net for his 24th goal of the season and his 40th goal in 65 career games against Philadelphia. The star of the Penguins scored against the Flyers more than any other team.
"You have to stay calm because you do not know if the guard is going to see him or if anyone else is going to see him," Crosby said. "It feels like it takes forever with the puck bouncing like that. It may seem easy, but when you have a lot of time, it is sometimes harder than you think.
Bjugstad scored 2-0 at 7:04 of the second with an acute angle shot, an unusually sweet goal for Hart. It was the sixth of the season for Bjustad and his first with the Penguins since his Florida acquisition on February 1st.
The Flyers seemed to score with 7:07 to go in the second when Nolan Patrick's rebound crossed the goal line, but the referee whistled the game when he thought Murray had managed Travis Konecny's initial hit.
"I was lucky," Murray said.
Guentzel scored on a wrap with 5:14 remaining in the third to raise the score to 3-0. It was Guentzel's 27th goal in the lead of the team.
Voracek finally got Philadelphia on the board 40 seconds later on the powerplay when he lifted the puck over Murray at close range.
The Flyers took advantage when Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin was penalized by a penalty at 4:54 for hitting Michael Raffl in the lead with his stick. Malkin came back after missing five consecutive games because of an upper body injury and had some help.
NOTES: Pittsburgh D Olli Maatta did not return after Phil Varone scored him on the board with six minutes left in the first. . Both teams will face Feb. 23 in an outdoor match at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. The series of the season is tied 1-1, the Flyers won 4-2 on Dec. 1 in Pittsburgh. . Hart was the Flyers' seventh goaltender, including six starters, in the last seven games against Pittsburgh. … Letang passed Paul Coffee for most goals of a defender of the Penguins.
Pittsburgh: Play the first of three straight home games against Edmonton on Wednesday.
Philadelphia: Minnesota Tuesday.
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