Penguins Game 58 vs. Flames: Lines, Notes & How to Watch


Next up for the Pittsburgh Penguins is a meeting Saturday with the Calgary Flames as they continue a road trip out west that is just a little important.

As in, what happens in these four games could help determine not only whether the Penguins make the playoffs, but also what could happen with the roster going into Thursday’s trade deadline.

The Penguins (27-22-8) are halfway through the trip with one rousing win and one frustrating loss.

Calgary (29-25-5) is yet another opponent that also is struggling to get into the postseason.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 10 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The Penguins had won three in a row, including a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday at Vancouver, the league’s top team at the time, before their offense fell into an abyss Thursday in a 2-0 loss at Seattle – one of those opponents scratching for wins and points in an uphill battle to get into the playoffs.

There were a lot of offensive chances for the Penguins against the Kraken, but none would go in. That came after it seemed they had solved their scoring problem. Going into the Seattle game, the Penguins had rung up 24 goals in six games after a stretch of 11 games where they scored three goals or fewer.

The Penguins are seven points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division and eight points out of an Eastern Conference wildcard spot. They will quickly start using up their games in hand on other contenders for a postseason spot with a bear of a March schedule, including back-to-backs with a game Sunday in Edmonton.

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The Flames are on a heater. They have won four straight, totaling 19 goals, all against teams sitting in playoff spots.

They, like the Penguins, have something to prove. They are sitting seven points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.

What’s more, the Flames could be out to push back against what appears to be team management going into sellers mode after top center Elias Lindholm was traded to Vancouver in late January and Chris Tanev was shipped to Dallas last week.

This will be Calgary’s first game since the Tanev trade.

Before the game, the Flames will be retiring Miikka Kiprusoff’s jersey No. 34.

Expected Penguins Lines

Reilly Smith-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell

Drew O’Connor-Evgeni Malkin-Valtteri Puustinen

Emil Bemstrom-Lars Eller-Jesse Puljujarvi

Jansen Harkins-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter

Defense

P.O Joseph-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson

Ryan Graves-Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies

Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Flames Lines

Jonathan Huberdeau-Yegor Sharangovich-Dryden Hunt

Connor Zary-Nazem Kadri-Martin Pospisil

Andrew Mangiapane-Mikael Backlund-Blake Coleman

Jakob Pelletier-Kevin Rooney-Walker Duehr/Andrei Kuzmenko

Defense

Oliver Kylington-Rasmus Andersson

Noah Hanifin-MacKenzie Weegar

Jordan Oesterle-Brayden Pachal

Goalies

Jacob Markstrom

Dan Vladar

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.6%, 29th

Penguins penalty kill: 82.0%, 7th

Flames power play: 14.3%, 30th

Flames penalty kill: 83.1%, 5th

Penguins Game Notes

This is the second and final meeting between the clubs, with the Penguins downing Calgary 5-2 on Oct. 14.

In their past 12 games in Calgary, the Penguins are 7-2-3.

The Penguins continue to be without top-line wingers Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust because of injuries.

Evgeni Malkin has gone 12 games without a goal. He has six assists in that stretch.

Sidney Crosby has 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 20 career games against the Flames.

Kris Letang has 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists) in 21 carer games against Calgary.

Erik Karlsson has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in his past 12 games against the Flames.

Jesse Puljujarvi has 11 hits over his past four games.

Reilly Smith is two points away from 500 for his career.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also follow sister site Hockey Now

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