SUN Hockey Pool

Game day

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

CALGARY FLAMES AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

TONIGHT AT 5 P.M., TV: CBC, RADIO: FAN 960

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COMING IN:

A 3-2 comeback victory in Detroit Wednesday helped Calgary start December on the right note, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process. The Flames are 11-2-2 in their last 15 games.

A 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers Thursday in Gotham was the fourth in a row for the Penguins, who are ahead of only Washington and Florida in the Eastern Conference.

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HEAD-TO-HEAD:

In the only meeting of the season between the two teams, Calgary goes to a place it hasn't won in a generation. The last time the Flames won in the Steel City was Feb. 12, 1989, which has been followed by an 0-10-2 mark there. When Joe Mullen scored the winning goal that night, Dion Phaneuf was a couple of months shy of his fourth birthday and Tony Amonte -- who turned 35 this past summer -- was only 18.

Calgary leads the all-time series by a 23-22-10 count.

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WHO'S HOT:

FLAMES -- Both Daymond Langkow and Chuck Kobasew are coming off two-point performances in Detroit.

PENGUINS -- Rookie defenceman Ryan Whitney scored his first NHL goal in the loss to the Rangers.

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WHO'S NOT:

FLAMES -- Captain Jarome Iginla has gone seven games without a goal, a spell in which he's only netted three assists.

PENGUINS -- Pretty much everybody. Mario Lemieux has gone four consecutive games without a point for the first time in his career, Sidney Crosby has been shut out three games in a row, Mark Recchi hasn't scored in eight games, John LeClair has one goal in his past 10, Ryan Malone has one in his past 16 and Sergei Gonchar does not have any in his past 11.

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SPECIAL TEAMS:

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 14.8% (25-168, 24th); Pittsburgh 16.2% (28-172, 20th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 80.3% (23rd); Pittsburgh 78.4% (29th).

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INJURIES:

FLAMES -- C Matthew Lombardi (ankle) is out.

PENGUINS -- RW Ziggy Palffy injured his groin in the second period and left midway through Thursday's game. RW Andre Roy (broken orbital bone) and LW Shane Endicott (ankle) are out.

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NOTABLES:

Mario Lemieux returned last game after missing a pair of contests due to a stomach virus. He had only one shot on goal and no points in 16:41 of ice time ... Thanks to their win over Detroit, the Flames had an optional practice before leaving the Motor City for Pittsburgh ... Tony Amonte now needs one goal for No. 400 of his career ... In 25 career games against the Flames, Lemieux has collected 20 goals and 41 assists.


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