It appears the Pittsburgh Penguins have regained their scoring
touch. They hope that will translate into more victories.
The Penguins look to win consecutive games for the first time in
almost a month when they visit the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday
Pittsburgh (8-8-1) has scored 13 goals while winning two of
three. This follows a 1-4-1 stretch where the Penguins totaled 12
goals. Their current offensive surge is the team’s most productive
since scoring 14 goals during a three-game winning streak Oct.
16-21 – the last time the Penguins won consecutive contests.
“We’re a good team,” coach Dan Bylsma told the Penguins’
official website. “We know how to play, but we need to give
ourselves permission to win.”
Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Max Talbot each had a goal with
an assist in Friday’s 5-1 win over Tampa Bay to match a season high
for goals scored.
“We’ve played some good hockey the last few,” said Crosby, who
has five goals and four assists in his last four games. “We want to
continue that and get rewarded for it. Hopefully, we’re right on
the edge of getting through (the struggles). We want to make sure
we keep playing the way we’re playing.”
The Penguins star captain has six assists but no goals in his
last five games against Atlanta.
Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury made 14 saves Friday for his
150th career win. The embattled Fleury is 2-6 this season but has a
1.73 goals-against average while winning seven of eight against the
“He’s just been struggling but he’s not going to struggle all
year,” Lightning star Steven Stamkos said.
Fleury’s teammate Brent Johnson is 8-3-2 with a 2.45 GAA versus
Atlanta, but has allowed 11 goals while losing two in a row
Pittsburgh had won eight straight against the Thrashers until a
1-0 loss at Atlanta on April 10.
The Thrashers (7-6-3) snapped a three-game skid with a 5-1 win
over Minnesota on Thursday.
Andrew Ladd and Fredrik Modin each had a goal with an assist
while Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom added two assists apiece.
Atlanta has scored nine goals while earning three points in its
last two home games.
“They should feel good about what they accomplished,” coach
Craig Ramsay told the Thrashers’ official website.
Ladd has two goals with two assists in his last three games
while Modin has three and two assists in five.
Bryan Little, who scored the lone goal in Atlanta’s April
victory over the Penguins, is expected back in the lineup after
missing six games because of a concussion. He has one goal and
three assists this season.
Ondrej Pavelec will be in net after making 32 saves against the
Wild for his first victory since he collapsed 2 minutes into the
opener Oct. 8 against Washington and sustained a concussion when
the back of his head hit the ice.
“It’s important to get that first win and get it under your
belt,” Ramsay said.
Pavelec, 1-1-2 with a 2.34 GAA this season, is 0-4 with a 5.22
GAA against the Penguins.