Game 47 Preview – Penguins at Flames

The Pens Nation Gameday Report

By: Casey Johnston (@CaseyR82)

Last Game for the Penguins:  Last night, a 4-3 OT loss to the Edmonton Oilers.  The game did not get its first goal until 2:09 into the second period when Evgeni Malkin won a puck battle behind the Oilers’ net.  He then found James Neal, who sniped a shot over the far side shoulder of Devan Dubnyk from below the left faceoff dot.  Later in the period, Brian Gibbons carried the puck into the offensive zone and made a short pass to Sidney Crosby, whose attempted pass to Chris Kunitz went off the skate of Sam Gagner and into the net.

Things turned in the Oilers favor just 53 seconds into the third when Jordan Eberle made a cross-ice pass to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.   From the right faceoff circle, Nugent-Hopkins found the back of the net as Jeff Zatkoff was being screened by Taylor Hall.  Around 10 minutes later, Deryk Engelland failed to take a pass at his own blue line.  The turnover sent the Oilers on a rush.  Taylor Hall went to the front of the net as Craig Adams laid down to block a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pass.  The puck went right to the stick of Hall who made a turning shot to beat Zatkoff.  Kris Letang answered a little over two minutes later on the power play to give the lead back to the Penguins.  However, Anton Belov scored to tie the game back up before the period ended.

With Brandon Sutter in the penalty box, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a minute into overtime to give the Oilers the extra point.  Jeff Zatkoff faced 31 shots while Devan Dubnyk saw 28.  The win was the Oilers second in three games.  The loss snapped a three game winning streak for the Penguins.

Last Game for the Flames:  Thursday, a 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.  The game belonged to the Blues from the very beginning with Calgary managing only six shots in the first period.  The scoring was spread out for the Blues as only two players managed to have multi-point games while eight other registered one point.  Jaroslav Halak ended up facing 33 shots despite the slow first period.  Kari Romo saw 29 shots for the Flames.

Last Time These Two Teams Met:  December 21, 2013, a 4-3 win for the Penguins.  The Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the first period off of goals from Pascal Dupuis and Harry Zolnierczyk.  Paul Byron cut the lead to one at 6:58 of the second period, but Sidney Crosby and Matt Niskanen would both score four minutes apart to give the Penguins a three goal lead.  Mike Cammalleri would answer with less than a minute to go in the second, and Jiri Hudler brought the Flames back to within one at 1:03 of the third period, but the Flames could not complete the comeback.  Marc-Andre Fleury faced 30 shots while Kari Romo saw 23.

Last 10 Games for the Penguins:  7-2-1.

Last 10 Games for the Flames:  2-7-1.

Story of the Game:  In yesterday’s game preview, we looked at the Penguins team statistics.  Today we will look at some of the individual players to see where they stand among their peers.

The Penguins currently have three of the league’s top 15 scorers.  Sidney Crosby, of course, is leading the race with 67 points, 13 more than Patrick Kane and John Tavares, who are tied for second.  Chris Kunitz’s 48 points are good for sixth in the league in scoring while Evgeni Malkin is tied with Alex Ovechkin for 11th place with 46 points.

Sidney Crosby’s 25 goals place him in a three-way tie for second with Corey Perry and Patrick Sharp.  The three are seven goals behind Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.  Chris Kunitz is the only other Penguin in the top ten with 23 goals.

The Penguins have spread their penalty killing responsibilities around as no player averages three minutMarc-Andre Fleury

es per game.  Craig Adams leads the forwards and the team with 2:54 minutes per game and has been on the ice for seven power play goals against.  The next closest forward is Brandon Sutter with 2:08 minutes per game.  Brooks Orpik leads the defensemen with 2:48 minutes per game and has been on for five power play goals against.

Chris Kunitz’s 11 power play goals place him at second in the league, just one goal behind Alex Ovechkin.  James Neal is three goals behind Kunitz despite playing in 20 fewer games.  Sidney Crosby is tied for second in the NHL in power play assists with 17.  He’s also in second place in the league in power playoff points with 23.  Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz are also in the top ten in the league in power play points with 19 and 18, respectively.

Marc-Andre Fleury currently leads the league with 25 wins.  His .917 save percentage is good for 18th while his 2.27 goals against average place him just outside the top ten.  His 2,190 total minutes played is the second most in the league.

Penguins All-Time Record Against the Flames:  41-38-18-0.

Player to Watch on the Penguins:  Evgeni Malkin has five points (3-g-2a) in his three games since returning from injury.

Player to Watch on the Flames:  Mike Cammalleri has six points (3g-3a) in his last 10 games.