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Penguins send Flames to third straight loss

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On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins wrapped up their Western Canada road trip with a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. The Penguins picked up five out of a possible six points on the trip, winning two of the three games.

The first period was similar to the first period in Edmonton the previous, minus the clock malfunction. Another difference between the two games was that there was actually a goal scored among the sloppiness. At 16:34, Chris Kunitz gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead when he wristed the puck past Reto (Yogi) Berra on his glove side for his twenty-fourth goal of the season. It was a great shot by Kunitz, but the goal was really set-up by Zach Sill. Sill laid a check into Dennis Wideman in the corner that Joe Colborne was not a fan of. Colborne confronted Sill, but in the mean time, Robert Bortuzzo was sliding the puck over to Kunitz for the score. The Penguins took their 1-0 lead into the intermission while also holding a slight advantage in shots, 13-12.

The flashbacks to Friday night continued in the second period. The Penguins increased their lead to two at 6:42 when Matt Niskanen snapped a shot past Berra from above the right circle. We all remember what happened the last time the Penguins had a 2-0 lead in Canada, right? At the second intermission, Pittsburgh was holding on to a 2-0 lead while the Flames were closing in on 200 minutes with a goal.

The final period saw the intensity pick up a bit. It started around the seven-minute mark when Robert Bortuzzo executed a questionable hit to Flames captain, Mark Giordano. It appeared that Bortuzzo left his feet on the hit, and was given a match penalty. The Flames didn’t have the entire five-minute power play because Mike Cammalleri’s emotions got the best of him, and he delivered a cross-check to Tanner Glass. However, Calgary didn’t that kill their buzz as they finally lit the lamp at 11:29. Mikael Backlund put an end to Calgary’s scoring drought at 196 minutes and fifty-nine seconds when he worked his way past Kris Letang and fired the puck through Marc-Andre Fleury. That’s as close as the Flames would get as the Penguins got out of Western Canada with the 2-1 victory.

The Penguins have the next few days off before taking on the Washington Capitals at home on Wednesday (8:00 pm; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS)…RIVALRY NIGHT!

Notes:

-Brian Gibbons left at some point during the first period, and didn’t return. There was no update on his status.

-Dan Bylsma thought that Bortuzzo’s hit was clean. So, there’s that.

-How do the Flames have a better record than the Oilers? Mind bottling…

-Reto Berra didn’t look too bad in net. He denied Sidney Crosby on two good chances in the first period.

Three stars:

1. PIT G Marc-Andre Fleury (27 saves, .964 save %)

2. CGY C Mikael Backlund (1G)

3. PIT D Matt Niskanen (1G)

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