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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Pittsburgh Penguins 3/5/18 (67/82): Flames Look To End 3 Game Skid

The Flames will put their 3 game losing skid on the line against the Penguins and their three 70+ point scores. Sigh.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Pittsburgh Penguins. 5 PM MT, PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh PA

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: TVAS, SN
Radio: Sportsnet 960

Well, this it. The Flames are hitting the road for 3 straight and this could be the trip that gets them back on track or ends their playoff aspirations. The Flames are currently mired in a 3 game losing streak that has seen them play more like a team looking forward to the offseason rather than the playoffs. During the current 3 game slide the Flames have scored exactly.......3 goals. Not gonna cut it. The PP has also gone from serviceable back to garbage. The Flames had scored a PPG in 6 straight, they are now 0 for their last 14 with the man advantage.

The Flames could get a shot in the arm with Micheal Ferland potentially coming back tonight. He had been struggling prior to his injury, but the Flames top line has been non existent as of late. Sam Bennett gave that group a quick boost, but as fast as they took off, they’ve disappeared. Outside of Sean Monahan, no one on that top line has had a point in their last 4 games. If they Flames want in, this line needs to show up and play like a top line.

The Penguins have a similar record to the Flames, but they are in a much better position in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins have 78 points (only 5 more than Calgary) and are in 6th place, in part due to them having the NHL’s best PP. Oh, they also have a championship pedigree......and Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Yvegni Malkin. That kind of makes things a little easier.

Pittsburgh hasn’t played well lately, having dropped 3 of their last 4 after they reeled off 6 wins in a row. The Pens were outscored 17-11 during that 3 game losing streak with the low point being an 8-4 beatdown at the hands of the Boston Bruins. Is Pittsburgh the 3 game losing streak team or the 6 game winning streak team? It’s hard to tell, but as the season winds down and the playoffs ramp up, it’s always hard to bet against Crosby and Co.

Calgary won the only meeting these two played so far this season, a 2-1 OT victory back on November 2nd behind a 41 save performance from Mike Smith. The Flames have won 2 in a row when visiting the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

How They Match Up

Calgary Flames Stats Pittsburgh Penguins
Calgary Flames Stats Pittsburgh Penguins
32-25-9 Record 37-25-4
73 Points 78
5th Pacific Division 3rd Metropolitan
11th West Conference 6th East
2-3-0 Last 5 2-3-0
185 Goals For 215
195 Goals Against 200
Monahan (29) Goals Malkin (36)
Gaudreau (73) Points Malkin (79)
Hathaway (70) PIM Reeves (84)
Smith (.921) Save% Jarry (.913)
18.0 (23rd) PP% 26.7 (1st)
80.4 (16th) PK% 81.6 (12th)
1-0-0 2017-18 VS 0-0-1
43-44-18 Overall VS 44-43-18

Starting Goalies (E=Expected,C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Gillies (E) 2-2-0 2.57 .911
Penguins: DeSmith (E) 3-4-0 2.73 .913

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Pittsburgh Penguins Coverage: Pensburgh

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 NY Rangers 3

3 in a row! But in the loss column. Calgary came out sluggish for the 3rd straight night and once again found themselves in the loss column. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 NY Islanders 2 (OT)

Pittsburgh was able to halt a 3 game skid with a 3-2 OT victory over the Islanders Saturday night. Sidney Crosby’s goal in OT sank the Isles and got Pittsburgh back in the win column. Pensburgh has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: New York Rangers at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk (F). The Flames young phenom is one of the few guys wearing the Flamming C to actually show up lately. His 3M Line has been playing extremely well and he’s a major part of the reason why. Tkachuk has 5 points in his last 5 games and with how goal deficient the Flames have been lately, that’s impressive. Twenty seven of Matthew Tkachuk’s 49 points have come on the road and he notched an assist against the Penguins back in November.

Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Kessel (F). As much as people make jokes and as he posts photos of himself eating hot dogs out of the Stanley Cup, Kessel just gets it done. The 11 year NHL vet is having another outstanding season with 74 points. Kessel has 8 points in his last 5 games, including a 2 point effort against his former team the Bruins.