[SBN Flames blog - Matchsticks and Gasoline]
Record: 26-14-6 (3rd in the west)
It's not every day you get a chance to see the Pens play the Calgary Flames. Last season in the only meeting between the two, Pittsburgh took down the 'W' thanks to a 31-save MAF shutout and a goal each from the likes of Kris Letang and Hal Gill. Since the lockout, the Pens are on the better side of the W/L record against Calgary, holding only a slim 2-1 lead.
In recent action, the Flames have skated to a shootout in each of the last two games. Against Colorado on Monday, Calgary skimmed one point from the effort, losing 3-2. Saturday night was a different story though, as they took down Vancouver (Pittsburgh's opponent this upcoming Saturday) in a shootout by the same score; 3-2. Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was in net for both of the games, sending his season record to an impressive 23-11-6. There's no doubt in my mind that we'll see him again tonight.
I suppose this is a bigger game for the Pens than it is for Calgary. Although I'm sure the Flames would love to pick up two more points in the tight Western Conference race, a road-weary Pens team needs this one more. After tonight's game the Pens shoot off to Edmonton for a date with the Oilers tomorrow night before wrapping up the five-game road trip Saturday night in Vancouver.
Six points separate the fourth place Penguins from the fifth place Bruins, but if you look up in the standings you'll see that New Jersey is opening up the division and conference lead with their 65-point total. Speaking of, last night's 1-0 shootout between the Rangers and Devils was, much to my surprise, just about as exciting a game as you can get from a game that went scoreless for 65 minutes. Regardless, it'd still be nice to see the Pens at least edge two points closer in the division before NJ gets closer to a pretty commanding 10 point lead in the Atlantic.
Puck and thread drop later tonight at 9:35pm. Again, 9:35 start for tonight's game.