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Penguins at Flames preview

Malkin, Rust game-time decisions for Pittsburgh; Bennett back in Calgary lineup

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

PENGUINS (19-10-4) at FLAMES (18-13-4)



The Game

Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust are each a game-time decision when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Malkin, who has missed the past two games with an illness, is second on the Penguins with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) and one goal from 400 in the NHL. Rust (illness) has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past three games and is third with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists).

The Penguins have won two in a row and five of their past six (5-1-0).

Sam Bennett will return for the Flames, whose season-long seven-game winning streak ended with a 4-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. The forward missed 13 games with an upper-body injury.


Players to watch

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in a five-game point streak.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has scored four goals in his past six games after going 10 straight without one.


They said it

"When you see that recipe is working, you have a tendency to keep doing it again and again, and I think that's the key to our success without guys like [Malkin], (Sidney Crosby) or (Patric Hornqvist). I think it's the commitment level from this team." -- Penguins defenseman Kris Letang

"When you win that many games in a row, all the boys are getting their confidence back. It feels nice to be rolling. It's important to win every game, especially now with the standings that close. We're playing a good team today. You've just got to be ready and focus on our own stuff, and we'll be fine." -- Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese -- Jared McCann -- Dominik Kahun

Alex Galchenyuk -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Dominik Simon -- Sam Lafferty -- Stefan Noesen

John Marino -- Kris Letang

Jack Johnson -- Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson -- Chad Ruhwedel

Tristan Jarry

Matt Murray

Scratched: Joseph Blandisi, Juuso Riikola

Injured: Sidney Crosby (core muscle surgery), Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery), Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery), Patric Hornqvist (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Mikael Backlund

Matthew Tkachuk -- Elias Lindholm -- Andrew Mangiapane

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Sam Bennett -- Tobias Rieder -- Michael Frolik

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Scratched: Mark Jankowski, Zac Rinaldo, Michael Stone

Injured: Austin Czarnik (lower body)


Status report

Pittsburgh held an optional morning skate. … Crosby, who has missed 16 games, has resumed skating but there is no timetable for his return. ... Talbot will make his third start in six games after backing up Rittich in seven straight.


Stat pack

Jarry has three shutouts in his past five starts. … Hanifin is two assists from 100 in the NHL. … Monahan has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past nine games.

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