|Date of game: 12/12/2014
Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Calgary
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Blake Comeau and Kris Letang posted early scores, while Rob Klinkhammer provided a late tally as Pittsburgh turned away Calgary, 3-1, at CONSOL Energy Center.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for the Penguins, who won for the sixth time in their last nine and extended their lead over the idle Islanders in the Metropolitan Division to three points.
"Great job by them blocking shots," Fleury said of his defensemen and penalty killers, who kept Calgary scoreless in five chances. "Keeping them to the outside and out from in front of the net. Very solid night."
They won without the services of team captain Sidney Crosby, who was ruled out for the next two games with an unknown medical diagnosis which was not suspected to be the mumps. Crosby did appear after a Friday practice session with one side of his upper jaw swollen, and was kept out of action as a precaution.
Johnny Gaudreau picked up the lone goal for the Flames, who lost their fourth straight contest. Jonas Hiller made just 19 saves in the setback.
The hosts couldn't give themselves enough breathing room until 2:47 remained in regulation, as Klinkhammer picked up his first goal with the Pens by redirecting a Steve Downie pass home from the slot for a 3-1 advantage.
"It takes some time," Klinkhammer said. "One or two practices, so it's good. It's a step in the right direction. The more ice I get with these guys, the better it's going to feel."
Hiller was pulled for an extra skater after the ensuing faceoff but the visitors failed to get any closer.
Pittsburgh struck twice in the game's first five minutes, with Comeau converting an Evgeni Malkin pass at 48 seconds followed by Letang's redirection of a Simon Despres offering at 4:43 during a 4-on-4 situation.
Gaudreau got one back for the Flames at 12:15, following up a Markus Granlund rebound and scoring from the right side.
Hiller halted 11 shots and Fleury six in a scoreless but spirited second period.
"I think in the third period, we needed to play more in their zone, get more guys in front of the net and go to the dirty areas," Flames forward Paul Byron said. "It looks like other teams are scoring those goals right in the paint and we're not getting enough of those."Game Notes
The Pens welcomed back forward Patric Hornqvist after a two-game absence due
to an undisclosed injury and Letang after five games with a groin issue ...
All nine of Comeau's goals have been scored at home this season ...
Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid (upper-body) left the game in the second
period and did not return ... Klinkhammer totaled three goals in 19
games with the Coyotes before being dealt to Pittsburgh ... Calgary's
dynamic defensive duo of Dennis Wideman and Mark Giordano were held to a
combined two shots on goal and a combined minus-2.