National Hockey League
Preview
Calgary at Pittsburgh
When: 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 16, 2019
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Penguins have responded favorably after losing four in a row and look to prevent the Calgary Flames from doing the same when the teams meet on Saturday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh can thank Matt Murray for its good fortune this week, as the two-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender has turned aside 88 of 90 shots in victories over Philadelphia and Edmonton.

"(Murray is) very positionally sound -- it's an economy of motion," coach Mike Sullivan said. "... That's when Matt is at his very best, and he's certainly been very good the past couple of games." Murray made 38 saves in this previous encounter with Calgary, although the netminder admittedly was staked to a seven-goal lead after two periods in a 9-1 romp on Oct. 25. Former Penguins forward James Neal spoiled Murray's bid for a shutout by scoring with two minutes left in that contest, but departed Thursday's 3-2 shootout loss in Florida after a collision with Jayce Hawryluk. The 31-year-old Neal (lower body) has been ruled out of Saturday's tilt for the Flames, who secured a point against the Panthers to move into a tie with San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division despite falling to 0-2-2 in their last four outings.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Calgary), AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh

ABOUT THE FLAMES (34-16-7): Elias Lindholm boosted his career-high point total to 65 after recording his fourth goal in six contests and denting the scoresheet for the 13th time in his last 14 games. Linemate Johnny Gaudreau set up his fourth tally in three tilts when he had a hand in Lindholm's personal-best 25th goal, boosting his team-leading totals in assists (49) and points (78). Gaudreau's 29 goals are tied for the club's top honors with Sean Monahan, who is two shy of his career-best total of 31 set in both 2014-15 and 2017-18.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (30-20-7): Pittsburgh could receive some punch along its blue line after activating offensive defenseman Justin Schultz from injured reserve, although Sullivan told reporters on Friday that the 28-year-old is a game-time decision to face the Flames. "It's up to me. When I feel I'm ready to play, I'll be in," said Schultz, who has missed past 53 games after fracturing his left leg against Montreal on Oct. 13. While the availability of Schultz is in question, former Hart Trophy recipient Evgeni Malkin is eligible to return after serving a one-game suspension for high sticking Flyers forward Michael Raffl and missing five of his previous six contests with an upper-body injury.

OVERTIME

1. Calgary captain Mark Giordano sports a team-best plus-29 rating, although he finished with a season worst-tying minus-3 in the first encounter with Pittsburgh.

2. Penguins RW Phil Kessel, who scored twice in the first meeting with the Flames, has just one assist in his last six outings to reside one point shy of 800 for his career.

3. Flames LW Matthew Tkachuk has answered an eight-game point streak by being held off the scoresheet in seven straight contests.

PREDICTION: Penguins 5, Flames 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Calgary 34-16-3-4 L4 17-5-3-2 17-11-0-2 5-2-0-1 29-14-3-3 9-6-1-1
Pittsburgh 30-20-5-2 W2 16-10-2-0 14-10-3-2 1-0-0-0 29-20-5-2 8-7-0-1
Last Meeting
Calgary Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/25/18 PIT 9 CAL 1 39 27 0-3 36 38 2-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Calgary D. Dube 1
Pittsburgh D. Brassard 3
Goals Player  
Calgary J. Neal 1
Pittsburgh P. Hornqvist 2
Assists Player  
Calgary D. Dube 1
Pittsburgh D. Brassard 3
Saves Player  
Calgary M. Smith 15
Pittsburgh M. Murray 38
Season
Total Points Player  
Calgary J. Gaudreau 84
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 70
Goals Player  
Calgary J. Gaudreau 32
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 27
Assists Player  
Calgary J. Gaudreau 52
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 45
Saves Player  
Calgary D. Rittich 916
Pittsburgh C. DeSmith 909
Quickchart Matchup
Calgary Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
3.63 GF
3.02 GA
32.2 Shots
33.4 Shots
46 PP
28 PK
Pittsburgh Off vs  Calgary Def
3.42 GF
2.91 GA
32.5 Shots
29.1 Shots
36 PP
38 PK