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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 11th (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (32-12-2) at Calgary Flames (15-23-6), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames have not beaten the Pittsburgh Penguins at home in over 10 years. Their current offensive funk suggests that trend may not end on Saturday night, when the two clubs do battle at Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames have lost six of their last seven games and have been held without a goal in five of those contests. They have scored just five times in that seven-game span, four of those coming in a victory at Colorado on Monday.
Calgary, though, followed with a 6-0 setback at Phoenix the following night and was then bested 5-0 by a visiting St. Louis Blues club on Thursday.
Karri Ramo allowed five goals on 29 shots for the Flames, who have been outscored 15-1 in their last five home games and have fallen to 13th out of 14 teams in the Western Conference, just one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.
Calgary's 46 goals at home are the second-fewest in the NHL.
"If we look at the past weeks there are some games that we got shut out and we deserved to be shut out," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley following the loss to the Blues. "But this is kind of a lingering effect on us and tonight I felt like we had quite a few scoring chances; Grade-A scoring chances between the hash marks and we even fanned on some shots.
"Right now the net is awfully small for us. That's the result of not scoring."
The Flames did manage three goals when they visited the Penguins back on Dec. 21, but lost a 4-3 decision. It was their sixth loss in a row to the Pens, who they have not beaten since Dec. 3, 2005 in Pittsburgh.
Calgary has not won versus Pittsburgh at home since Dec. 7, 2003, with the Penguins winning the past three as the visitor.
Reto Berra will face the Penguins for the first time in his career tonight, while Marc-Andre Fleury is likely to get the start for Pittsburgh. He made 27 saves in the earlier win, moving to 4-1-0 with a 1.97 goals against average in six career meetings with the Flames.
Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists versus the Flames and James Neal added a goal and a helper.
The duo both lit the lamp in Pittsburgh's most recent game, a 4-3 overtime setback on Friday night to the Oilers.
Kris Letang also scored and backup Jeff Zatkoff yielded 27 stops, but was bested 61 seconds into overtime for the winner.
"We have to find a way to close the game out. To give up a two-goal lead, get the lead back and give it up again -- you don't deserve to win if you play like that," Crosby said.
Pittsburgh had won five of six and still leads the Metropolitan Division by 16 points.
Crosby has five goals and 12 assists during a seven-game point streak. He leads the NHL with 67 points and has six goals with nine points in six career games versus the Flames.
01/11 10:38:39 ET