Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-0) @ Calgary Flames (0-0-0)
When: 10:00 p.m. | Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
TV: Root Sports | Radio: 105.9 the X
Referees: Tim Peel #20, Brian Pochmara #16 | Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron #74, Don Henderson #91
Game Day Buzz
*The Penguins and Calgary Flames meet for the only time this season at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 4-3 shootout win Thursday night vs the Vancouver Canucks. Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin led the Penguins to victory, scoring on Pittsburgh’s first two shootout attempts. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 of 36 shots in regulation and both shootout attempts he faced to earn the win. Pittsburgh jumped out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 on Vancouver thanks to a power-play marker from James Neal and two goals from Matt Cooke….one on the power play and the other shorthanded. Letang finished with two assists.
*The Flames failed to make the playoffs in 2010-2011 but won 23 of their final 36 games, making a late push for the playoffs.
*The Penguins are a team you don’t want to get into a shootout with. They are 19-5 in their last 24 shootouts. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has stopped 10 straight attempts dating back to last season. He is 6-0 in his last six shootouts, stopping 16 of the 17 shots he has faced.
*Pittsburgh has won four straight road games dating back to a 4-2 win at Florida on April 2 of last season. The Penguins have also won four consecutive games against the Flames, including their previous two visits to Calgary.
*During their four-game winning streak against the Flames, the Penguins have been excellent defensively, surrendering a total of just four goals.
Marc Andre Fleury has been a big part of that. In four games against Calgary, Fleury is 2-1 all-time with a 1.30 GAA. Fleury had a 31-save shutout on March 25, 2009 at Mellon Arena and helped lead the Penguins to a 4-1 victory against the Flames last season on November 27th, highlighted by a 30 save effort.
*Since 2000-01 the Penguins are 7-2-1 against the Flames. The Flames last beat the Penguins on December 3, 2005, a Flames 3-2 win at the Mellon Arena. Calgary’s last win vs Pittsburgh in Calgary was on December 7, 2003 (6-1 Flames win).
*Success without Crosby: The Penguins are 24-13-5 in their last 42 games without their star center.
*A win tonight would make the Penguins 2-0 for the 10th time in franchise history and second time in three years. It would also mark just the third time in team history that the Penguins have won back-to-back consecutive road games to begin a season 2-0 (1998-99; 1994-95).
*Tonight marks the first set of back-to-back games this season. The Penguins play a total of 16 this season. Last year they went 21-9-4 in back-to-backs, with a 9-6-2 mark the first night and a 12-3-2 record the second game.
*Interesting stat, Kris Letang has scored the game-deciding shootout goal in each of the Penguins’ three all-time shootout wins in Western Canada (Oct. 7, 2011 at Vancouver, 4-3; Dec. 8, 2007 at Vancouver, 2-1; Dec. 6, 2007 at Calgary, 3-2). Letang has 15 goals, 40 in 40 career shootout attempts (37.5 pct)
*Pittsburgh has scored at least one power play goal in four straight regular-season games dating back to April 5 (vs. NJD) of last season (5-for-14; 35.7%).
*The Penguins’ two power-play goals against the Canucks ended a streak where Pittsburgh had gone 33 straight games (including playoffs) without scoring multiple power-play goals in the same game. Until Thursday, the Penguins hadn’t scored more than one power-play goal since going 3-for-9 at NY Islanders on Feb. 11, 2011.
*Matt Cooke who leads the Penguins with 2 goals on the year, has nine points (4G-5A) over his last 14 regular-season games dating back to last season.
*Jordan Staal who left Thursday’s game and did not practice on Friday, needs one point to reach 200 for his career (95G-104A).
*Chris Kunitz enters tonight two points shy of 100 as a Penguin (43G-55A). Kunitz who spent early part of his career with the Anaheim Ducks, has 2 goals and 9 assists in 20 career games vs Calgary
*Brent Johnson is 4-2-0 with a 1.84 GAA against the Flames All-time.
*Steve Sullivan has appeared in 41 career games vs Calgary. Sullivan has 10 goals – 20 assists all-time vs the Flames.
*James Neal coming off an excellent opening game, has 4 goals and 4 assists in 11 career games vs Calgary, along with a +5 rating.
*Defenseman Kris Letang played his 300th NHL game at Vancouver.
*Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff will be looking to set the franchise record for career wins as he is currently tied with Mike Vernon at 262. Vernon took 526 games to earn his 262 wins while Kiprusoff 262 wins came in 482 games.
Miikka Kiprusoff is 2-3-1 in 7 games vs Pittsburgh in his career.
*Jay Bouwmeester holds the longest current ironman streak in the NHL at 506 games (streak started on March 6, 2004). On March 15, 2011 Jay broke the NHL iron man streak by a defenseman at 496 (set by Karlis Skrastins at 495).
Boumeester has 13 points and a +8 rating in 24 career games vs Pittsburgh.
*Jarome Iginla coming off a 43 goal season, has 7 goals and 12 points in 17 career games vs Pittsburgh. Iginla is currently tied with Lanny McDonald for 75th spot amongst NHL point Leaders at 1,006 and is just 16 goals shy of 500
*Center Olli Jokinen has 17 goals, 18 assists for 35 points in 42 career games vs Pittsburgh.
*A homecoming of sorts for the Penguins this weekend. Craig Adams grew up and played his youth hockey in Calgary.
Mark Letestu (Elk Point, AB) and D Deryk Engelland (Edmonton, AB) are also Alberta natives. Engelland played five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with Moose Jaw from 1998-2003.
Letestu played four seasons with Bonnyville of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) from 2002-06. Two Penguins, Arron Asham (Red Deer; 1994-98) and Steve MacIntyre (Saskatoon, Red Deer, Prince Albert and Medicine Hat; 1998-01) also played their junior hockey in the WHL.
Stats courtesy of the Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins*