Power Play delivers game winning goal
Marc Andre Fleury’s struggles over the past three weeks have been well documented. However, Wednesday night against Calgary, Fleury finally resembled the goaltender from earlier in the season who was being regarded as a potential starter for Team Canada this winter.
Fleury made 37 saves and Sidney Crosby scored a highlight reel goal in the first period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 Wednesday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
“Fleury stole that for us,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “Fleury made some big saves, one really late a great chance on a one-timer, and through the whole game made some great saves. We owe that one to him for sure.”
Fleury was at his best in the third period making 16 saves as the Penguins were outshot 16-5 in the period. Fleury made a number of key stops including a breakaway save on Nigel Dawes.
Fleury earned his 24th win of the season and only his 3rd victory in 10 games.
Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin (15) and Tyler Kennedy (8) all scored for Pittsburgh. Crosby has goals in four straight games and hit the 30 goal plateau in just his 47th game of the season. Crosby is on pace for 51 goals and has never scored more than 39 goals in a season.
While Fleury and Crosby put on quite a show, Pittsburgh’s power play delivered the game deciding goal as Bill Guerin deflected a Sergei Gonchar slap shot for the point past Miikka Kiprusoff mid-way through the second period to put Pittsburgh up 2-1.
Pittsburgh went 1-for-5 on the power play as the coaching staff made changes to their top unit and Evgeni Malkin was moved off the left point.
Pittsburgh played a tight defensive game through the first 40 minutes of the game but were badly outchanced in the third. Inconsistency continues to plague the Penguins blueline.
Pittsburgh improved their record to 29-18-1 and are now 2-1 on their five game road trip.
Wednesday night’s win can be seen as a momentum builder for the Penguins who travel to Edmonton Thursday night in what is a very winnable game.
Notes: Defenseman Brooks Orpik (knee) missed his second straight game. Orpik will not play tonight against Edmonton.
Goaltender Brent Johnson remains sidelined with a groin injury. Johnson is also not expected to be in the lineup.
Prospect Luca Caputi was a healthy scratch for Pittsburgh along with defenseman Martin Skoula.
Evgeni Malkin was pointless for the second straight game. Malkin has 3 goals in his last 14 games, all three goals coming against the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 23, 2009.
Pittsburgh will not have a morning skate today in Edmonton.