NHL Game Preview - Penguins v Flames

 
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Calgary 0 0 1 1
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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 25, 2018
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta  Attendance: 17,834

Pens aim to follow up thriller when they take on Flames

Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames

  1. The Penguins beat the Oilers, 6-5, in overtime on Tuesday in Edmonton. Since the 2011-12 season, the Pens are now 6-0-1 in their first game against the two Alberta teams, but just 2-1-3 in the second game.
  2. Evgeni Malkin had an assist in the win over Edmonton, giving him 13 points (3g, 10a) in Pittsburgh's first seven games. In the last 20 years, only Sidney Crosby (2013-14), Mario Lemieux (2002-03), and Jaromir Jagr (1999-2000 & 1998-99) have accomplished that.
  3. The Flames are 5-0-1 against the Penguins since the 2015-16 season, the only team in the league against whom they have not lost in regulation in that span. Three of the wins have been overtime or a shootout, and the overtime loss came in the most recent meeting.
  4. The Flames lost to the Canadiens, 3-2, in Montreal on Tuesday. In the games following their three prior losses, the Flames are 3-0-0 and have outscored their opponents by a combined 14-7.
  5. Elias Lindholm scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season in the loss to Montreal. In his five seasons with Carolina, the 2013 No. 5 overall pick never scored more than 17 goals in a season.
  6. David Rittich has started Calgary's last two games, but Mike Smith is expected back in net. His career 2.38 GAA against Pittsburgh is the lowest of any active goalie, and fourth lowest since the 2005-06 season (minimum 10 starts).

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be hard pressed to follow their thrilling 6-5 overtime road win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

That's exactly what they'll attempt to do when they take on the Flames in Calgary on Thursday.

Sidney Crosby scored a highlight-reel goal, his second of the game, at 2:12 of the extra session to lead the Penguins (4-1-2) to their second straight road victory.

"It doesn't matter how pretty they are, but it's nice to get ones like that," Crosby told reporters after his team practiced in Calgary on Wednesday. "It's probably been a while since I've had a nice one like that. I'll take it."

Jake Guentzel wasn't surprised to see his talented linemate deke out a pair of Oilers before lifting a backhand shot under the glove of Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot.

"It's just tough to stop that kind of play and that kind of player. When he's determined like that, it's pretty tough to stop him," said Guentzel, while adding that the Penguins weren't satisfied with surrendering five goals to the Oilers. "We know we've got to tighten up areas and be a little bit better defensively."

Crosby agreed with his teammate's assessment.

"I think we'd like to tighten things up a little bit better defensively, so we'll look to improve that here (in Calgary)," said Crosby, whose team has gone 3-0-2 since dropping a 5-1 decision at home to the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 6. "We want to really build some momentum here. I think you're just ready to compete, especially on a road trip like this. It's big games every night. I think you just try to get up for them and expect anything."

Meanwhile, the Flames (5-4-0) will be looking to rebound from a 3-2 loss they suffered to the Canadiens on Tuesday in Montreal.

"You can't keep chasing games," said Calgary captain Mark Giordano following the disappointing loss to the Habs. "It's not a good thing to do in this league and eventually it's going to come back to bite you and we chased this one all night. We've got to learn to simplify when things are going well and put pucks in and try and grind away.

"We have to start playing the way we can early in games and we have to get some leads here and some momentum, because it's not good enough."

Forward Matthew Tkachuk, who had two assists in a losing cause, also expressed his disappointment following Tuesday's setback.

"It was a bad effort after we got away with one in New York thanks to our goalie," said Tkachuk in regards to the play of netminder David Rittich, who made 44 saves to backstop the Flames to a 4-1 road win over the New York Rangers on Sunday before keeping his team in the game in Montreal by stopping 37 more shots fired his way. "We talked about how our efforts haven't been great recently and how our goalie's been bailing us out."

Tkachuk went on to say that the Flames will need to bounce back with much better efforts at home against the Penguins on Thursday night and the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon.

"If we expect to play like that, we'll probably be blown out of the building by these teams coming in," warned Tkachuk. "So we have to sharpen it up."

Updated October 24, 2018

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