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Flames-Penguins Preview @NHLdotcom
Flames-Penguins Preview

GAME: Calgary Flames (15-9-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (7-13-6).

TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Pittsburgh Penguins may have just the thing to halt a losing streak.

Pittsburgh will try to extend its unbeaten streak over the Calgary Flames to 13 games when the teams square off Saturday in their only meeting of the season.

Pittsburgh is 10-0-2 in its last 12 games against the Flames at Mellon Arena since a 4-2 loss on Feb. 12, 1989.

The Penguins latest losing streak reached four games with a 2-1 loss Thursday to the New York Rangers. Standout rookie Sidney Crosby was held off the scoresheet for the third straight game - the longest stretch of his brief career.

"You go through phases sometimes," Crosby said. "We played pretty decent hockey. If we get the same chances next game, we'll look to put them in."

Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux has also struggled to find the net, going without a goal in seven straight games - his longest scoring drought since an eight-game stretch from Oct. 16-Nov. 1, 2003.

Lemieux has 20 goals and 41 assists in 25 games against Calgary.

The Flames continued their five-game road trip with a 3-2 win Thursday over the Detroit Red Wings. Tony Amonte's goal 19 seconds into third period capped a rally from a two-goal deficit.

The win was Calgary's 11th in 14 games and evened their record on the road trip at 1-1.

Like the Penguins, the Flames also have a struggling superstar on their hands. Jarome Iginla has failed to score a goal in seven straight games, recording just two assists in that span.

It is Iginla's longest goal-scoring drought since an eight-game stretch from Nov. 12-29, 2003. He finished with 41 goals that season, tying him with Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers for the league lead.

Left wing Kristian Huselius also is expected to make his Calgary debut. Huselius was acquired by the Flames on Friday for defenseman Steve Montador and a prospect.

This is the only meeting of the season between the teams.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 2): Flames - 33 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Northwest Division. Penguins - 20 points, 5th place, 17 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Iginla, 11 goals, 13 assists and 24 points; Darren McCarty, 47 PIM. Penguins - Crosby, 12 goals; Zigmund Palffy, 18 assists; Crosby and Zigmund Palffy, 28 points; Brooks Orpik, 42 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 2): Flames - Power play: 14.8 percent (25 for 168), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.3 percent (127 for 158), 23rd (tied). Penguins - Power play: 16.2 percent (28 for 172), 20th. Penalty killing: 78.4 percent (135 for 172), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (13-8-3, 3 SO, 2.30 GAA); Philippe Sauve (2-1-0, 0, 2.68). Penguins - Marc-Andre Fleury (1-3-1, 0, 3.09); Sebastien Caron (5-3-3, 0, 3.95).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Flames, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 7, 2003; Flames 6-1. At Calgary, Alberta, Shean Donovan scored his second career hat trick and Martin Gelinas added three assists for the Flames.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 5-7-1 on the road; Penguins - 3-6-3 at home.

Associated Press
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