Flames vs. Penguins Preview: Heating Up
The Penguins' game looks reignited as they ready to face the Flames.
The Penguins are cooking with heat a little early this holiday with a Thanksgiving Eve matchup against the Flames on Wednesday at home at PPG Paints Arena. The team is finally on its first win streak of the year beyond two games and has won five of its last seven games overall.
This looks like a real turning point after rallying through one of their worst losing skids in 17 seasons earlier in November and back into October. This uptick in performance couldn't happen at a more necessary time coming right at the quarter mark of the season. If all goes as planned from this starting point, the Pens' pace should be scorching up towards peak performance level right in the most crucial stretch of the year: the late winter push toward the playoffs.
Evgeni Celebrates 1,000 Games
Wednesday is the official celebration of Evgeni Malkin's 1,000th NHL Game since the actual milestone came on the road vs. Chicago. The Penguins have a pregame ceremony planned and have asked fans attending to be in their seats by 7 PM for the occasion.
To get ready for the ceremony check out our Rink Links series to read some of the major press stories on Malkin's big 1K game: HERE.
Pens Game #20: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames
Date: November 23, 2022
Time: 7 PM (ET)
Place: Pittsburgh, PA
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN
Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #Flames
Records- PIT: 9-7-3, CGY: 9-7-2
Last 10- PIT: 5-3-2, CGY: 4-4-2
Standings- PIT: 15th, CGY: 18th
Points- PIT: 21, CGY: 20
Streaks- PIT: 3 Wins, CGY: 2 Wins
Season Series- 1-0 Flames
Series Goals For- PIT: 1, CGY: 4
Team Analytics Comparison:
Projected Starting Goalies-
-TRISTAN JARRY- #35
Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC.
Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season.
Record: 6-3-2, 3.27 GAA, .904 SV%
Career vs. CGY: 3-0-2, 1.72 GAA, .948 SV%
-DAN VLADAR- #80
Bio Info: 6' 5", 185 lbs. DOB: 8/20/1997 (25). From: Prague, Czechia.
Drafted: 2015- Rd 3, Pk 75 (BOS). Experience: 3rd Season.
Record: 1-3-0, 3.33 GAA, .881 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 1-1-0, 2.04 GAA, 930 SV%
Pens skills coach Ty Hennes was promoted to assistant coach yesterday in a rather unusual midseason move at the assistant coach position. Could this mean one of the current assistants is in the hot seat if certain sectors of the Penguins' play don't improve? Or is someone potentially up for a looming head coaching vacancy? Like, say the anticipated open position with the Vancouver Canucks' run by former Penguins' general manager Jim Rutherford?
Casey DeSmith did not take practice yesterday and was being evaluated for an upper-body injury per Head Coach Mike Sullivan. Sullivan appears to think the injury is "not too serious" but DeSmith's further status is unknown although he did participate in Wednesday's pre-game skate. Should the Penguins need relief in net they have veteran NHL goalie Dustin Tokarski and young gun Filip Lindberg stashed in the minor leagues as call-ups.
The Penguins' special teams units are getting a makeover. Both the struggling powerplay (18.8%, 25th place) and the recently improving penalty kill (79.4%, 14th place) are being tweaked slightly. The new configurations will have two defensemen on the #1 powerplay unit as Jeff Petry is added to the point. Bryan Rust will join the second PP unit in Petry's place. Meanwhile, Jeff Carter has been removed from the top penalty kill. This should allow the struggling Carter to have a more manageable level of playing time.
The projected Penguins lines for Wednesday, November 23, 2022, vs. the Calgary Flames:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Danton Heinen
Ryan Poehling - Teddy Blueger - Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson - Jeff Petry
Chad Ruhwedel - Jan Rutta
PP1: Crosby, Guentzel, Malkin, Petry, Letang
PP2: Carter, Rust, Zucker, Rakell, Joseph
PK1: Blueger, McGinn, Dumoulin, Rutta
PK2: Poehling, Archibald, Pettersson, Ruhwedel
The Flames have scored four or more goals in three of their last four games played. They can drop some offense on teams, so the Pens' defense will have to stay vigilant.
Calgary has found a gem in the new line of Adam Ruzicka, Elias Lindholm, and Tyler Toffoli who are one unit to be wary of tonight. They have a 60% expected goals percentage through 60 minutes played together. Adam Ruzicka in particular has also put up four goals and four assists in the seven games that the unit has played. Lindholm has eight points in the last five games. Toffoli isn't producing as prolifically as the other two, but his line's results as a whole certainly are enough to make up for that.
-2022-23 Flames Series Leaders vs. Penguins-
Goals: Nazem Kadri- 2.
Assists: Six-way tie- 1.
Points: Nazem Kadri- 3.
Shots: Mikael Backlund- 4.
Plus/Minus: Michael Stone- +3.
Faceoff Win %: Elias Lindholm- 85%.
Hits: Milan Lucic- 5.
Blocks: Rasmus Andersson, Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev- 2.
Takeaways: Mikael Backlund, Dillon Dube, Elias Lindholm- 2.
-Brett Ritchie (F): undisclosed, day-to-day.
-Michael Stone (D): IR, undisclosed, day-to-day.
-Oliver Kylington (D): IR, personal, out indefinitely.
For The Penguins: Sidney Crosby. What we're seeing from Sid this season is nothing short of incredible. He has 11 points in the last five games. He was named the NHL's "#1 Star Of The Week" yesterday and it's easy to see why. Crosby just has offense flowing through him in a way we've only ever seen a few times before. So he's our one to watch once again for the Pens.
For The Flames: Elias Lindholm. Lindholm started the year off slowly, but Calgary's top centerman now has eight points in his last five games (two goals and six assists). That includes three multi-point games. This Flame is on fire.