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National Hockey League
Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Ian Walsh
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Brad Kovachik
Attendance: 67318

PITTSBURGH -- Matt Cullen is still finding firsts at age 40.

Saturday, it was playing in his first NHL outdoor game -- and scoring what stood as the winning goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Heinz Field in a Stadium Series game.

"When people say outdoor games aren't novel anymore -- it was novel for me, and it was pretty awesome late in the game seeing how many people were still in that upper deck," Cullen said. "That had to be really cold up there with that wind. They stuck it out the whole time. There was a lot of people there tonight. I think it's an awesome deal for the league. People may argue one way or another, but I think that's what hockey's all about. It's such a good event."

Cullen's wraparound goal at 1:50 of the third period gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. Sidney Crosby, Nick Bonino and Chad Ruhwedel also scored for the Penguins (38-14-8), who earned a point in 15 of their past 18 games. They won five of the past six games against the Flyers (28-26-7), who lost five of their past seven.

"It's a tough result walking away," said Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol, whose team twice closed to within a goal after Crosby and Bonino staked Pittsburgh to a 2-0 lead.

For Crosby, just walking away unscathed was something of a win. In the 2011 Winter Classic at the same stadium, the team lost to Washington and he took a blindside hit from David Steckel that caused a concussion and forced him to miss much of the next season and a half.

"We're thrilled for him," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Crosby. "I'm sure that the experience of coming back here probably brought back some memories that he probably would like to forget. So to have a night like tonight and have an opportunity to play in such an exciting venue and start the game off the way he did a get a goal for us, I'm sure helped him put that experience behind him and just move forward. I thought he had a solid game."

Crosby increased his league lead to 34 goals when he opened the scoring at 11:18 of the first period. He converted a feed from Jake Guentzel from below the right circle, depositing the puck behind Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth (25 saves, 10-9-1).

Bonino added a power-play goal at 6:44 of the second period to make it 2-0. From the right dot, he held the puck, delayed and beat Neuvirth to the short side. Guentzel picked up his second assist.

After Voracek scored at 11:14 of the second, Cullen made it 3-2 at 1:30 of the third.

Shayne Gostisbehere's power-play goal using Wayne Simmonds as a screen pulled the Flyers to within 3-2 at 6:48 of the third, but Ruhwedel scored off of a faceoff won by Evgeni Malkin at 14:06 of the third to restore Pittsburgh's two-goal lead.

"It's deflating," Gostisbehere said of Rudwedel's goal. "We can get sad for ourselves all we want. ... We can always say it's lucky but it keeps happening for a reason."

After a 76-degree day Friday, the game-time temperature was 36 degrees, and snow fell through most of the game, although mostly in the form of flurries. A crowd of 67,318 watched.

"I was a little bit cold at times, especially in the third," said Murray (36 saves, 23-7-3). "We were carrying the play and I wasn't moving around a whole lot, so I got a little bit cold.

"But it was a ton of fun out there."

NOTES: Pittsburgh D Kris Letang missed the game because of an upper-body injury. He had been a game-time decision after getting hurt Tuesday at Carolina. D Ron Hainsey, who made his Penguins debut after being acquired from Carolina on Thursday, took Letang's spot alongside D Brian Dumoulin. ... Penguins D Justin Schultz returned after missing three games because of a concussion. ... Pittsburgh also scratched RW Carter Rowney and D Steve Oleksy. ... Pittsburgh LW Conor Sheary (upper body injury) missed his 11th straight game but began skating and took part in the team's optional morning skate wearing a non-contact jersey. ... The Flyers scratched LW Roman Lyubimov, D Michael Del Zotto and D Nick Schultz. ... Philadelphia did not hold a morning skate.
Top Game Performances
 
Philadelphia   Pittsburgh
Shayne Gostisbehere 1 Points Jake Guentzel 2
Shayne Gostisbehere 1 Goals Nick Bonino 1
Claude Giroux 1 Assists Jake Guentzel 2
Shayne Gostisbehere 1 Power Play Goals Nick Bonino 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Michal Neuvirth .862 Save Percentage Matt Murray .947
Michal Neuvirth 25 Saves Matt Murray 36
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Philadelphia 38 2 1-4 4-5 12 36
Pittsburgh 29 4 1-5 3-4 10 25
Upcoming Games
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game on the road against Dallas. The Penguins have a W/L % of .595 after a win and .696 after a loss.
  • Philadelphia will play their next game at home against Colorado. The Flyers have a W/L % of .464 after a win and .455 after a loss.