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Preview: Penguins at Flames

Calgary aims to tie team record with 10th straight win; Pittsburgh can take over first place in NHL

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (43-16-8) at FLAMES (38-26-4)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, ROOT, NHL.TV

 

Penguins team scope

The Pittsburgh Penguins can overtake the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division and the NHL with their sixth consecutive win. The Penguins, who have played one fewer game, trail the Capitals by one point and are two points ahead of the third-place Columbus Blue Jackets. "It's been crazy," defenseman Mark Streit said. "The Metro is really competitive this year. There are a lot of great teams playing great hockey." The Penguins, who haven't lost since March 1, have won the first three games to open a five-game road trip that concludes at the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. "We have a lot of skill and a lot of speed, goaltending has been great, everybody's on the same page," Streit said. "We haven't played perfect all the games, sometimes we get behind, but we find a way to win. You can just feel the confidence in the group in each and everyone, and in the system. You can feel that on the bench. It's been a lot of fun." Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start after Matt Murray made 27 saves in a 3-0 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. "It's special to have two goaltenders at that level," forward Jake Guentzel said. "It's pretty unique and they support each other." Defenseman Ron Hainsey will appear in his 900th NHL game.

 

Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames have won nine games in a row and can match the longest winning streak in their history with a victory. The Atlanta Flames won 10 straight games from Oct. 14 to Nov. 3, 1978. "We haven't really mentioned anything like that in the room," captain Mark Giordano said. "We've been pretty focused game to game." The Flames can become the fourth team this season to have a winning streak of 10 or more games, which would be a first in League history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Calgary would join the Blue Jackets (16 games), Minnesota Wild (12) and Flyers (10). "It's crazy," center Matt Stajan said. "The League's like that. It's a lot of streakiness to the League if you look around." Goalie Brian Elliott, who has eight wins during the streak and is coming off back-to-back shutouts, will start. "I think that's been the main reason for our turnaround and our success in the New Year," Stajan said. The Flames trail the Anaheim Ducks by two points for second in the Pacific Division and are one point ahead of the fourth-place Edmonton Oilers. "We collected all those points so that's huge, but every night teams are winning around us again," Giordano said. "The two points tonight are big for our team."

 

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Matt Cullen -- Nick Bonino -- Scott Wilson

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Carter Rowney

Brian Dumoulin -- Justin Schultz

Mark Streit -- Ron Hainsey

Ian Cole -- Chad Ruhwedel

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matt Murray

Scratched: Cameron Gaunce, Josh Archibald

Injured: Matt Cullen (undisclosed), Bryan Rust (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Trevor Daley (knee), Kris Letang (upper body), Patric Hornqvist (concussion), Carl Hagelin (lower body)

Suspended: Tom Sestito

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Alex Chiasson

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Deryk Engelland

Matt Bartkowski -- Dennis Wideman

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Curtis Lazar, Freddie Hamilton, Rasmus Andersson

Injured: Michael Stone (upper body)

 

Status report 

The Penguins recalled Archibald from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. … Cullen, who has missed the past two games, is a game-time decision. … Stone will miss his second consecutive game. 

 

Who's hot 

Schultz has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past five games. …Bonino has four goals in his past three games. …Malkin has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past five games. … Elliott is 12-1-1 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .936 save percentage since Jan. 26. … Monahan and Frolik each have six points (two goals, four assists) in their past four games.

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