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Calgary Flames vs Pittsburgh Penguins game preview: Let’s have a good end to the homestand

The Flames' six-game homestand comes to an end tonight. They're 4-1-0 over this time so far. All these wins have really advanced the Flames up the standings, making the dream of playoffs all the more real…



Home has been very sweet to the Calgary Flames as of late. A three-game winning streak has seen them shed the blood of some of their direct competition, as they’ve passed the Winnipeg Jets and can once again pass the San Jose Sharks with a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. (They also beat the Edmonton Oilers, but they’re not a threat. I’d compare them to some kind of adorable, incompetent puppy but I actually like puppies, so…)

Make no mistake, that win against the Sharks was huge. The Flames decided not to wait for the third period and instead got everything done in the second. Not even a John Scott goal could hinder them, as Kris Russell finally scored his first of the season, Johnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler did Johnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler things, and Mason Raymond capped the scoring off with a hell of a shot, giving the Flames an absolutely massive 3-1 win. | Recap | Stats | Boxscore | They couldn’t score an empty netter, but thankfully, it didn’t matter:

The Penguins, meanwhile, are of no threat to the Flames. That's not to say there's no possible way they'll win tonight – in fact, they're a good team, so there's a pretty decent chance they will – but if the Flames have to lose games, losing games to the eastern conference is ideal. The Penguins aren't going to take a Flames playoff spot. But they still could take two much needed points.

Since the All-Star Break, the Pens have been following a win-lose-win-lose-win pattern, most recently knocking off the Oilers. Evgeni Malkin took just 24 seconds to score the game winning goal, and former Oiler David Perron scored the insurance tally as the Pens downed our sad, northern brethren 2-0. So next up is losing! That's good!

The Pens had to practice in the Corral yesterday, boarding a bus from the Saddledome to take them there. … Getting on and off the bus took more time than the actual ride, didn't it? Anyway, PensBurgh has more for you!

Game time: 7:00 p.m. MT

Channel: SNW

All-time record: The Flames are actually losing the all-time battle: 38-42-18-1. That's a lot of ties! The Flames are actually winning the goal differential, though, at +17. Extending that and coming closer to tying the all-time record would be great!

Common threads: Blake Comeau was once a Flame, but now he’s an injured, but nearing return, Penguin. Also, Brandon Sutter is a Sutter! We used to have lots of those. I think Rich might still be with the organization…?

Approaching milestones: TJ Brodie’s next point will set a new career high for him! That’s all that matters.

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames Pittsburgh Penguins
Record: 29-20-3: 61 points Record: 29-14-8: 66 points
Pacific Division: 3rd Neapolitan Division: 2nd
Western Conference: 6th Eastern Conference: 5th
Goal Differential: +20 Goal Differential: +18
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (25:12 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:26 per game)
Defence: Kris Letang (25:11 per game)
Forward: Sidney Crosby (20:00 per game)
Goals: Sean Monahan (17)
Assists: Mark Giordano (32)
Points: Mark Giordano (43)
Goals: Evgeni Malkin (20)
Assists: Sidney Crosby (38)
Points: Sidney Crosby (53)
Shots on goal: Mark Giordano (132)
Shooting percentage: Josh Jooris (17.5%)
Shots on goal: Sidney Crosby (146)
Shooting percentage: Chris Kunitz (15.6%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (50.1%, 1157 taken) Brandon Sutter (50.2%, 850 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (47)
Hits: Lance Bouma (172)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (164)
Penalty minutes: Steve Downie (169)
Hits: Simon Despres (150)
Blocked shots: Paul Martin (84)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team’s games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (49.44%, 52 GP)
Jiri Hudler (49.34%, 49 GP)
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (50.81%, 37 GP)
Jiri Hudler (50.26%, 49 GP)
Corsi for%: Kris Letang (56.93%, 45 GP)
Patric Hornqvist (56.14%, 38 GP)
Fenwick for%: Patric Hornqvist (57.40%, 38 GP)
Kris Letang (57.17%, 45 GP)

Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund David Jones
Mason Raymond Josh Jooris Joe Colborne
Brandon Bollig Matt Stajan Paul Byron
Left Defense Right Defense
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz Deryk Engelland
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

Pittsburgh Penguins
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Chris Kunitz Sidney Crosby David Perron
Mark Arcobello Evgeni Malkin Patric Hornqvist
Nick Spaling Brandon Sutter Steve Downie
Zach Sill Maxin Lapierre Craig Adams
Left Defense Right Defense
Paul Martin Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi Simon Despres
Robert Bortuzzo Derrick Pouliot
Marc-Andre Fleury
Thomas Greiss

With Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund finally sent down so they can play somewhere, the Flames’ lineup remains unchanged. It also means Curtis Glencross must be awfully close to returning from injury. And you know what’s interesting? That leaves another roster spot open… and Sam Bennett is skating with the team… HMMM…

by Ari Yanover