Penguins 4, Flyers 1
PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins dealt a blow to the Philadelphia Flyers while increasing their wild-card lead with a big 4-1 win at a boisterous Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.
The Penguins (39-24-8) reeled off three straight goals in the second period and kept the Flyers quiet in the third to win their fifth straight. With the victory, Pittsburgh jumped to six points ahead of Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference's first wild-card spot.
The Penguins, winners in nine of their last 12, also picked up their first win in Philadelphia since Oct. 17, 2013.
The Flyers (34-24-12) took a step back in their push for the East's final playoff seed. Philadelphia, which entered 8-1-1 in its last 10 games, came into Saturday one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild-card spot.
Pittsburgh has taken both meetings from Philadelphia this season with two more remaining.
With an assist in the second period, Penguins center Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 11 games. He finished with two helpers, giving him 18 points over his 11-game spurt.
Kris Letang iced the game with an empty-netter while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves for his 26th career win over the Flyers.
Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason made 31 saves.
It took just one minute and one second of trailing for the Penguins to take their game to another level and grab control.
After falling behind 1-0 early in the second period, Pittsburgh promptly drew even when a Nick Bonino shot took a diagonal bounce to the right of Mason and on the stick of Trevor Daley, who squeezed it top shelf between the post at 2:59.
Bonino delivered again with just over three minutes left in the middle stanza. Flyers right winger Ryan White lost the puck along the boards where Bonino gained possession and hit Carl Hagelin between the circles for a slap shot and 2-1 Penguins advantage.
Pittsburgh then took the air out of the building with 1:35 remaining in the second when, off a bad Philadelphia turnover, Chris Kunitz fired a shot that bounced directly off the back boards and to the back of Mason's leg pad and into the net for a 3-1 lead at second intermission.
After scoring the Flyers' game-winner last time out, unlikely suspect Radko Gudas kept the offense coming to give Philadelphia a short-lived 1-0 lead at 1:58 of the second period. Gudas took a shot from near the blue line, which deflected off a pair of Penguins and past Fleury.
It is the first time Gudas has recorded a goal in back-to-back games, but that was all the Flyers could muster.
NOTES: Flyers RW Jakub Voracek returned to the lineup after missing nine straight games with a lower-body injury. Voracek replaced C Chris VandeVelde, who was out serving the first game of a two-game suspension for elbowing Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews on Wednesday. ... Penguins C Oskar Sundqvist was inserted into the lineup after being recalled on Friday from American Hockey League affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Sundqvist appeared in his 11th career NHL game after making his debut on Feb. 5. ... C R.J. Umberger and D Evgeny Medvedev were healthy scratches for the Flyers. ... Penguins D Ben Lovejoy remained out with an upper-body injury and is considered day to day. Lovejoy has not played since Feb. 20 after appearing in 60 games. ... D Derrick Pouliot and G Jeff Zatkoff were healthy scratches for the Penguins.