(SportsNetwork.com) – The Pittsburgh Penguins hope to get some healthy bodies
back on Friday night when they aim to rebound against the visiting Calgary
The Penguins were minus a number of players on Monday versus the New York
Rangers in what ended up as a 4-3 loss in overtime, with forwards Chris
Kunitz, Patric Hornqvist, Beau Bennett and Pascal Dupuis all sidelined along
with defensemen Kris Letang and Olli Maatta.
Pittsburgh, though, rallied from a 3-1 hole to force overtime as Evgeni Malkin
and Steve Downie scored 24 seconds apart in the third period. Nick Spaling
scored earlier in the game and Marc-Andre Fleury posted 25 saves.
Fleury yielded the deciding goal with 1:15 on the clock in overtime as Rangers
defenseman Kevin Klein sent a shot from high slot through a screen.
“We just kind of stuck with it,” said Pens captain Sidney Crosby. “We were
able to capitalize on them sitting back.”
Pittsburgh had won five of its previous seven before the loss and could get a
boost tonight as both Hornqvist (upper body) and Letang (groin) are expected
to be game-time decisions.
Hornqvist has missed the past two games and returned to practice on Thursday,
while Letang has missed five in a row.
Crosby, though, did not practice on Thursday due to an illness and his status
for this game is unknown.
The Penguins will visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, so both Fleury
and backup Thomas Greiss could see action over the next two days.
Fleury is an excellent 5-1-0 in his career versus the Flames with a 1.81 goals
against average and .937 save percentage in seven meetings, while Greiss is
1-2-0 against them with a 2.36 GAA and .900 save percentage.
The Penguins have won seven straight versus the Flames and are 13-1-0 with two
ties in the past 16 meetings at home.
Calgary, which last won in Pittsburgh on Dec. 3, 2005, is on a season-worst
three-game losing streak, a skid that was extended with last night’s 4-3
setback to the Buffalo Sabres.
The Flames outshot the Sabres 45-19, getting goals from Mark Giordano, David
Jones and Sean Monahan, but netminder Karri Ramo made only 15 saves.
“As good as we were offensively, we had some breakdowns,” said Flames coach
Bob Hartley. “We’re not as sharp as we can be defensively, and there are teams
that make us pay for that.”
Calgary’s three-game slide includes a loss in the first two of a four-game
swing that ends Sunday in Chicago.
Giordano has amassed two goals and four assists over a six-game point streak.
Jonas Hiller will start in net for the Flames looking to snap his own personal
three-game skid. He is 2-2-1 in his career versus the Penguins with a 2.77 GAA
and .893 save percentage.