On heels of bad loss, Penguins must deal with Flames next
Coming off their first regulation loss of the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to bounce back quickly against another tough opponent when they visit the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
The 4-1-1 Penguins have scored six goals in each of their four victories, but the offensive tables were turned against them on Monday in a 6-3 loss to the host Edmonton Oilers. After building a 3-1 lead through 22 minutes, Pittsburgh allowed five unanswered goals.
Four of those tallies came in a lopsided second period that saw Edmonton outshoot Pittsburgh 26-4. For the game, the Penguins allowed a season-high 47 shots.
“We’ve just got to put a full game together,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “We can still do a better job of that. We had a better start, but then we didn’t follow it up. We’ll focus on that, and the results will take care of themselves.”
While the Penguins have played mostly one-sided contests, three of Calgary’s four wins this season have been by one goal.
On Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Flames trailed 2-0 before rebounding for a 3-2 overtime victory. Tyler Toffoli scored the game-winner with 30 seconds remaining in the extra frame.
The Flames’ strong penalty kill (18-for-21 on the season) has been a big factor in squeezing out these wins. The penalty-kill unit was a perfect 4-for-4 on Saturday, holding steady even during a four-minute Hurricanes power play in the third period, preventing Carolina from scoring a go-ahead goal.
“The penalty kill … was unbelievable,” Calgary goaltender Jacob Markstrom said. “I don’t know how many different pairings on forward and (defense) that was out there for the four-minute kill. So that was huge for us, and after that we grabbed the momentum.”
Markstrom, who stopped 25 of Carolina’s 27 shots, will likely be back in net on Tuesday.
Since Penguins starting goalie Tristan Jarry played on Monday, making 41 saves, backup Casey DeSmith probably will get the nod for the second half of the back-to-back set. DeSmith stopped 36 of 39 shots in his only appearance of the season, a 3-2 overtime loss to the host Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 17.
Jake Guentzel is questionable for the Tuesday game after missing Pittsburgh’s past two contests with an upper-body injury. Guentzel took part in the Penguins’ optional team skate on Monday, wearing a non-contact jersey.
Crosby’s goal on Monday marked the 1,420th point of his career, tying him with Adam Oates for 18th place on the NHL’s all-time points list.
Jason Zucker collected two assists against the Oilers, giving him six points (one goal, five assists) in six games. The forward had only 35 total points over the past two seasons, as he was limited to a total of 79 games due to injury.
After signing a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Flames in the offseason, Nazem Kadri has at least one point in every game. Kadri has six points (two goals, four assists) over five games.
Defenseman Rasmus Andersson (one goal, five assists) is tied with Kadri for the team lead in points.
The Tuesday game will be the fourth contest of an eight-game homestand for the Flames.
–Field Level Media