Calgary Flames @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 5 PM MT, PPG Paint Arena, Pittsburgh PA
TV: TVAS, SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 11-12-3 (25 pts) - Pittsburgh Penguins 12-7-4 (28 pts)
The Flames finally got themselves in the win column on Saturday with a 3-2 (SO) win over the Philadelphia Flyers and they’ll hope to put that momentum to good use as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night. In no way are the Flames out of the woods yet, but snapping a six game losing streak was a step in the right direction. The Flames still haven’t scored first in nine straight games, they haven’t had a lead in forever and they’re still slightly deficient when it comes to scoring. Calgary has only scored 18 goals in their last 10 games and when it comes to taking shots, the Flames at times seem gun-shy. A prime example of this was their anemic 10 shots over the course of two periods in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
Anything good? Well, T.J. Brodie is with the team and is skating at practice so there’s a chance he will return to the lineup very soon. David Rittich (despite a small gaffe on Saturday) is playing very well and Andrew Mangiapane, broken face and all, is showing all the signs of becoming a major cog in the Flames machine. So not all hope is lost, but there’s a long way to go before anything is really back on track. Tonight will be a big test.
And that big test comes in the way of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh just went through a minor slump having lost four out of five, including two straight before getting a “W” against the Devils last Friday. Out of the last 10 games for the Penguins, six have gone beyond regulation with the Pens winning only two of those contests.
This should be an interesting match up of special teams tonight. The Penguins PP is terrible, so bad they’re one slot below the Flames in the league in PP%. Imagine how bad Calgary is with the extra skater and Pittsburgh is just a little worse. They are, however, solid when playing a man down. Pittsburgh is 3rd in the league in PK%, killing penalties at an 86.7% clip, which means the Calgary PP could/should struggle.
Calgary is 14-29-10 when visiting the Penguins over the years and that trend is nothing new. The Flames have lost six of the last 10 times they’ve gone to Pittsburgh, but won last season’s contest 5-4. This is the first of two meetings between the Flames and Penguins with the final regular season contest coming on December 17th.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected,C=Confirmed)
Flames: Rittich (E)- 10-7-3, 2.80 GAA, .911 Save%
Penguins: Murray (E)- 9-4-4, 2.60 GAA, .907 Save%
Flames: Goals: Lindholm (11) Points: Tkachuk (20) PIM: Lucic (34) Save%: Rittich (.911)
Penguins: Goals: Guentzel (11) Points: Guentzel (20) PIM: Hornqvist (17) Save%: Jarry (.945)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Pittsburgh Penguins Coverage: PensBurgh
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 - Philadelphia Flyers 2 (SO)
Pittsburgh Penguins 4 - NJ Devils 1
Players To Watch
Andrew Mangiapane (F): 2 goals in last 3 games
Evgeni Malkin (C): 7 points in last 4 games