Calgary Flames vs Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Calgary Flames 4-1-0 (8 pts) - Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1-1 (9 pts)
TV: SN 360 - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Odds: Calgary () Pittsburgh () O/U:
How good are the Calgary Flames really? Well, the Flames next opponent will give them a good test that they can measure themselves up to. The Pittsburgh Penguins come to CowTown tonight to take on a Flames team that has had nothing but tests thrown their way and they’ve done very well so far. Calgary has four wins on the season and they’ve beaten: Colorado, Edmonton, Vegas and Carolina so far. Not too shabby. They’ve been able to accomplish this by being solid on special teams and by spreading the scoring around throughout the lineup. Calgary has 16 of their 19 rostered players with a point and out of that 19, 11 Flames have goals. No longer is Calgary a three player team, they have many horses that can help this time around and it’s showing.
Where the Flames were (and it’s still early for an assessment) struggling was with their number one goaltending situation. Jacob Markstrom struggled out of the gate, giving up soft goals early in all three of his starts, but something started to click on Saturday against the Hurricanes. Markstrom gave up two goals on the first eight shots he saw, yet after that he locked it down and allowed the Flames to get to OT to earn a victory. THAT’S the Jacob Markstrom the Flames need (minus the early goals) because he might not be looking over his shoulder, but a more than capable Dan Vladar is sitting there and waiting for his opportunity to shine.
The Penguins come into this contest licking their wounds after being thumped in Edmonton by a score of 6-3 Monday night. What has to be tough to swallow is the Oilers did all of their damage without Connor McDavid registering a point. So Pittsburgh not only has to deal with being roughed up in Alberta, but they needed to travel to Calgary after the game and then play tonight against a Flames team that hasn’t played since Saturday. While that should be appealing for the Flames, Pittsburgh isn’t a pushover by any means. Their 29 GF is second in the league behind only Washington and despite coughing up six goals on Monday night, they’ve been incredibly tough to score on. Prior to the loss in Edmonton they had allowed only 11 goals, which is second best on the season. And you can forget any thoughts of Sidney Crosby slowing down as the ageless centre is 5th in the NHL in assists (7) and 7th overall in points with 11.
The Saddledome has been a rough spot for the home team when the Penguins visit. Calgary is 4-6-0 in their last 10 on home ice against the Pens, though they did stop a two game losing skid at the Dome against the Penguins last year with a 2-1 victory. Tonight certainly won’t be easy, but for the most part the Calgary Flames have been able to answer the bell this season when they’ve been presented with a challenge.
Puck Drop is at 7 PM MT from the Scotiabank Saddledome.
|Calgary Flames||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|1st Pacific||Division||1st Metropolitan|
|30.0 (6th)||PP||26.3 (10)|
|85.7 (9th)||PK||73.7 (25th)|
|Toffoli (3)||Goals Leader||Crosby (4)|
|Kadri (6)||Points Leader||Crosby (11)|
|Zadorov (8)||PIM||Petry (10)|
|Vladar (.896)||Save%||Jarry (.941)|
Calgary: Markstrom (E)- 3-0-0, 2.93 GAA, .882 Sv%
Pittsburgh: DeSmith (E)- 0-0-1, 2.86 GAA, .923 Sv%
Calgary: Kylington (Out/Personal)
Pittsburgh: Blueger (IR-LT/UBI), Guentzel (Out/UBI)
@NHLFlames, @penguins, @matchsticksCGY, @pensburgh, #Flames, #LetsGoPens, #CGYvsPEN
View From The Other Bench
SBN Pittsburgh Penguins Coverage: Pensburgh
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 - Carolina Hurricanes 2 (OT)
Pittsburgh Penguins 3 - Edmonton Oilers 6
Players To Watch
Tyler Toffoli (F): 4 points in last three games
Sidney Crosby (C): 8 points in last 5 games