Scouting Report: Pittsburgh Penguins
CALGARY, AB -- The Pittsburgh Penguins remain the beast of the East.
The Penguins, who top both the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference with 66 points, have seven wins over their past 10 games and have earned at least a point in four straight. Not surprisingly, they’ve also won 17 of their past 21 games, too.
They’ll enter their contest against the Calgary Flames angry, though, after coming off an overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday that saw a late 3-2 lead turn into a 4-3 setback up north.
This Season: 32-12-2, 66 points (1st in East)
Last Season: 36-12-0, 72 points (1st in East)
Notable Additions: RW Chris Conner, RW Matt D'Agostini, C Nick Drazenovic, C Andrew Ebbett, D Rob Scuderi
Notable Subtractions: LW Matt Cooke, C Philippe Dupuis, D Mark Eaton, RW Jarome Iginla, RW Tyler Kennedy, LW Brenden Morrow, D Douglas Murray, C Trevor Smith
Flames Season Series Record: 0-1-0
With a goal and an assist Friday against the Oilers, Crosby extended his point-scoring streak to seven straight games, collecting 13 points in that span. The 26-year-old product of Cole Harbour, NS. leads the NHL with 67 points by way of 25 goals and 42 assists in 46 games. All-time against the Flames, Crosby has six goals and nine points in six career meetings.
Though not necessarily relied upon to provide offensive punch, Sutter’s contributions in the opponents’ end has dried up of late. The 24-year-old former first round pick has just one point -- an assist -- in his past nine games. Prior to the slump, Sutter had collected points in three straight games and four of his last five.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Fleury, who watched from the bench as his team lost to the Oilers on Friday, has been incredible through the first half of the regular season. The 6-foot-2 keeper has an NHL leading 25 wins, while his 2.27 goals against average and .917 save percentage are equally impressive. Fleury has been hot of late, too, winning 11 of his previous 14 starts.
Malkin hasn’t skipped a beat since returning from an injured left leg that forced him to miss nine games. In the three contests he’s played since getting back into the lineup, the 27-year-old has five points and is riding a four-game point-scoring streak dating back to Dec. 14. The 6-foot-3 Malkin currently sits third in Penguins scoring with 46 points in just 35 games.
Letang, like Malkin, has also recently returned from an injury. The Norris Trophy finalist from last year missed 10 games stretching from Dec. 14 to Jan. 3 before returning to earn points in three straight games. In all, Letang has played just 27 games this season but has collected eight goals and 14 points when in action.