PENGUINS (29-14-8) at FLAMES (29-20-3)
TV: ROOT, SNW
Season series: First-period goals from Blake Comeau and Kris Letang helped the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Calgary Flames 3-1 at Consol Energy Center on Dec. 12, 2014. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves. Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau scored.
Penguins team scope: Pittsburgh plays the second of a three-game road trip through Western Canada after a 2-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, its third win in the past five games. Fleury made 22 saves for his NHL-leading seventh shutout, which also matched Tom Barrasso's franchise record set in 1997-98. Center Evgeni Malkin returned after missing five games because of a lower-body injury and reached the 20-goal milestone for the seventh time in his nine NHL seasons. Comeau (wrist) was cleared to shoot Thursday and could return next week, coach Mike Johnston told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Johnston also believes defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (head) is beginning to skate and hopes he'll practice upon the Penguins' return to Pittsburgh. Fleury is 6-1-0 all-time against Calgary. Forward David Perron has seven goals in 13 games since his Jan. 2 trade from Edmonton to Pittsburgh. The Penguins are 13-9-6 since a 16-5-2 start.
Flames team scope: Calgary ends a season-long six-game homestand looking for their first win in eight games against Pittsburgh since Dec. 3, 2005. The Flames have won eight of their past 10 games and are nine games over .500, tying a season high. One day after a 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks, 14 skaters and goalie Karri Ramo took part in an optional practice Thursday. "We gave a few breaks to some guys," coach Bob Hartley told the Flames website. "We put the guys in the gym to recover. We've used quite a bit of guys playing big minutes and make sure that we monitor the gas tank." Forward Curtis Glencross (lower body) practiced but will not play. Goalie Jonas Hiller is 4-1-0 with a 1.41 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in his past five starts.