FLAMES (17-11-2) at PENGUINS (18-6-3)
TV: TVA SPORTS 2, SNW, ROOT
Season series: The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Calgary Flames twice last season. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had two wins, a 2.01 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. The Penguins have won the past seven games against the Flames since a 3-2 loss on Dec. 3, 2005.
Flames team scope: Calgary lost 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, the first time the Flames have lost three consecutive games this season. This is the third of a four-game road trip that ends with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Center Joe Colborne, who returned to the lineup Thursday after missing 18 games with an upper-body injury, skated on the top line and had an assist. Forward Sean Monahan has three goals in his past five games. Defenceman Mark Giordano has a point in six straight games and has a point in 24 of 30 games.
Penguins team scope: Pittsburgh has not played since a 4-3 overtime loss at the New York Rangers on Monday. Center Sidney Crosby (illness) did not practice Thursday and his status for the game is unknown. Defenceman Kris Letang (groin) hasn't played since Nov. 28 and forward Patric Hornqvist (undisclosed) has been sidelined since Dec. 4; each will be a game-time decision. "If I'm feeling well, have no pain and can push all the way through, that's when you can judge if you’re ready or not,” Letang told the Penguins website Thursday. Coach Mike Johnston said defenceman Olli Maatta (upper body) and forward Chris Kunitz (foot) aren't close to returning. "[Maatta] will not be playing this week; he's still going through more tests to determine where he's at," Johnston said. "Chris Kunitz tried skating briefly but still will not be skating with the team right now. He's progressing slowly." Forward Evgeni Malkin has four goals in his past four games.