Shaky goaltending by Marc-Andre Fleury got the Pittsburgh
Penguins off to an equally rocky start in their new building.
Fleury’s recent play has the Penguins enjoying their home-ice
With Pittsburgh looking to post its sixth straight victory,
Fleury is expected to be in net Saturday when the Calgary Flames
try to finish their five-game trip with consecutive wins for the
first time in more than a month.
In goal as the Penguins (14-8-2) lost their first three at the
new Consol Energy Center, Fleury temporarily lost his starting job
to Brent Johnson, who started seven of 12 from Oct. 15-Nov. 10 and
was in net for Pittsburgh’s first two home wins.
Fleury, though, has taken a firm grip of the starting job by
going 7-0-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average in the last eight
games. He made a season-high 43 saves in Friday’s 2-1 home win over
“I’m still playing the same way I did. I’m just a little more
relaxed,” said Fleury, 2-1-0 with a 1.30 GAA in four starts against
Calgary. “Things are going well. We’re winning games and the guys
are helping me out.”
Pittsburgh has won four straight by one goal thanks to a
penalty-kill unit that has stopped the last 25 chances. The
Penguins have also improved on the power play, scoring five times
in the last four games following scores from Evgeni Malkin and Alex
Goligoski on Friday.
Pittsburgh, winner of a season-high three straight at home, will
try to record its first six-game win streak since a seven-game
surge Oct. 8-23, 2009.
The Penguins have a good chance of approaching that run the way
captain Sidney Crosby is playing. The sixth-year center, second in
the league with 37 points and two goals shy of 200, has scored nine
times and has 13 assists during an 11-game point streak.
Crosby had a goal as the visiting Penguins won their third
straight over Calgary, 3-1 on Jan. 13.
The Flames (9-11-2) snapped a three-game skid Friday with a 3-2
shootout victory at Philadelphia. It also ended the Flames’
five-game road losing streak.
“We were rewarded for our game, and maybe we haven’t been
rewarded on this trip so far,” coach Brent Sutter said of a
Philadelphia overtime goal getting waved off by an unsportsmanlike
conduct call on defenseman Chris Pronger.
The Flames, losers of seven of eight at Pittsburgh, will look
for captain Jarome Iginla to continue his solid play as they go for
back-to-back wins for the first time since a 3-0-0 stretch Oct.
Iginla, tied with Alex Tanguay with a team-high 18 points, has
seven goals and three assists in the last eight games after
notching eight points in his first 15.
Iginla has no goals and three assists in seven games at
In the Flames’ last game in Pittsburgh, Fleury made 31 saves and
posted his 15th career shutout in a 2-0 victory March 25, 2009.
Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff is expected to make his second
straight start Saturday. He is 0-2-1 with a 2.29 GAA in his last
three starts against Pittsburgh.