Flames-Penguins Preview

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.