The Flames had their seven-game winning streak end with a 4-0 shutout loss to the Hurricanes in a matinee at the Scotiabank Saddledome Saturday.
The score made the game look lop-sided.
In fact, Calgary dominated the first period and outshot the 'Canes 12-4. Carolina was the better team in the second, getting a pair of goals.
The Flames threw everything but the kitchen sink at goalie James Reimer on three straight powerplays in the third but the Carolina 'tender - who was named the game's first star - stood tall.
The Hurricanes got a short-handed tally and then added an empty-netter to round it out.
"I thought the first period we were really good, and they had a great push in the second," said captain Mark Giordano. "They were able to score on their chances. We had a ton, too, but they're a great team over there. You've got to give them credit. In the third period, we had a lot of powerplays, we were getting some chances, we got a post, I think, and if you don't score, that's how it always goes. The other team - on the road - found a way to get some big kills, and obviously that short-handed one late was the one that sealed it."
The Penguins are an impressive 7-3 in their last 10 games.
They have won two straight, and five of six - the most recent outing a 5-4 shootout win at home against the LA Kings on Saturday night.
And they've done it without Sid the Kid.
Captain Sidney Crosby, who had surgery for a sports hernia on Nov. 14, is back skating but there is no return date yet for the star.
"Sid has been skating for, I want to say, this is Day 6 that he's been on the ice," said head coach Mike Sullivan after the team's practice here Monday. "He's making progress in his rehab process, so we're encouraged by where he's at. As he gets closer (to playing), we'll update you."
Guentzel has stepped up in Sid's absence, and leads the team in scoring.
He had three assists again the Kings, while Bryan Rust scored a pair and Tristan Jarry continued his impressive play with 38 saves.
"I'm happy with the win," Sullivan told NHL.com after the tilt. "Our guys are playing hard. They're competing. ... You have to give [the Kings] credit too. They played a hard game as well, so we're competing hard out there. We're fighting hard. I just like our effort."
Evgeni Malkin missed the last two games due to illness but practiced Monday and is expected to play Tuesday night.
3. US vs. THEM
This is the second and final matchup this season between the two clubs.
The Flames fell 3-2 in overtime to the Penguins in the first meeting back on Nov. 25 in Pittsburgh.
Calgary had snapped a six-game skid two days earlier with a 3-2 shootout victory against the Flyers in the City of Brotherly Love.
Against the Pens, they struck first, Dillon Dube scoring his first of the season at the 7:32 mark, the assists to Rasmus Andersson and Derek Ryan.
Alex Galchenyuk tied it up at 11:48 with a powerplay marker.
Jared McCann put the homeside in the second before Monahan scored his sixth of the campaign to again knot it up, the helpers to Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau.
Nothin' doin' in the third, which led to OT where Guentzel tallied his 12th to win it.
"There was momentum swings for both teams," said Dube after the game. "It was a good hockey game. They're a good team. We had chances in overtime, and they had chances. So just a back-and-forth game tonight."
THIS: The Flames have a record of 10-4-2 on Scotiabank Saddledome ice this season with a +8 goal differential. Monahan leads the way at home with 16 (5G, 11A) of his 28 (10G, 18A) points this season coming at the 'Dome. Tkachuk has the most home-goals for the Flames with seven of his 12 goals scored here... THAT: This season the Flames are 8-2-2 and 5-0-0 at home when scoring the game's first goal … THE OTHER: Calgary is 6-2-2-0 in their last 10 outings against Pittsburgh.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Flames: LW Johnny Gaudreau
Johnny Hockey had two goals in the win over the Leafs before the loss to the 'Canes, and had put up four goals and six points in the half-dozen games before Carolina.
Penguins: RW Bryan Rust
Picked up two goals and three points in the win over the Kings (also tallying in the shooout), and scored the overtime winner two days earlier in a 1-0 blanking of the visiting Blue Jackets. He's third in team scoring with 12 goals and 22 points, behind Guentzel and Malkin (8g, 27 pts).