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Penguins at Flames preview

Pittsburgh playing second game of fifth back-to-back this season; Calgary again without Jagr

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

PENGUINS (8-5-1) at FLAMES (6-6-0)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the second of back-to-back games against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

It's the Penguins' fifth set of back-to-backs this season. They are 0-4-0 and have been outscored 29-7 in the second game of their previous back-to-backs.

The Penguins ended a two-game losing streak (0-2-0) with a 3-2 win at the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

The Flames will be without forward Jaromir Jagr for a fifth straight game. Jagr, 45, sustained a lower-body injury during a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 21. He was placed on injured reserve Oct. 23 and was expected to miss about a week.

Jagr played the first 11 of his 24 NHL seasons for the Penguins, who selected him with the No. 5 pick of the 1990 NHL Draft. He had 1,079 points (439 goals, 640 assists) in 806 games and won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992 with Pittsburgh.


Players to watch

Penguins forward Phil Kessel has six points (two goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak, and 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past seven games.


They said it

"It's out of our control. We don't decide the schedule. We're not going to sit here and complain about back-to-backs, we're not going to complain about too many days off. It is what it is. You approach every game the same." -- Penguins goaltender Matt Murray

"We all know they've struggled in back-to-backs, but they aren't going to struggle forever. We'd like to jump on them early, certainly, but we have ourselves to worry about." -- Flames coach Glen Gulutzan


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Jake Guentzel -- Riley Sheahan -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Greg McKegg -- Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Chad Ruhwedel

Ian Cole -- Frank Corrado

Tristan Jarry

Matthew Murray

Scratched: Zach Trotman, Josh Archibald

Injured: Matt Hunwick (concussion), Carter Rowney (upper body), Justin Schultz (concussion)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Curtis Lazar

Kris Versteeg -- Matt Stajan -- Troy Brouwer

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak -- Michael Stone

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Freddie Hamilton, Tanner Glass, Matt Bartkowski

Injured: Jaromir Jagr (lower body)


Status report

The Penguins and Flames each held an optional morning skate. … Jarry could start in goal after Murray made 35 saves at Edmonton. … Smith will start for the 12th time in 13 games this season.


Stat pack

Malkin has goals in three straight games. Letang has four assists in his past three games. …Monahan has four game-winning goals this season, tied for most in the NHL with Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers. Brouwer will play in his 700th NHL game.


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