Pens aim to follow up thriller when they take on Flames
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CALGARY, Alberta -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be hard pressed to follow their thrilling 6-5 overtime road win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
That's exactly what they'll attempt to do when they take on the Flames in Calgary on Thursday.
Sidney Crosby scored a highlight-reel goal, his second of the game, at 2:12 of the extra session to lead the Penguins (4-1-2) to their second straight road victory.
"It doesn't matter how pretty they are, but it's nice to get ones like that," Crosby told reporters after his team practiced in Calgary on Wednesday. "It's probably been a while since I've had a nice one like that. I'll take it."
Jake Guentzel wasn't surprised to see his talented linemate deke out a pair of Oilers before lifting a backhand shot under the glove of Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot.
"It's just tough to stop that kind of play and that kind of player. When he's determined like that, it's pretty tough to stop him," said Guentzel, while adding that the Penguins weren't satisfied with surrendering five goals to the Oilers. "We know we've got to tighten up areas and be a little bit better defensively."
Crosby agreed with his teammate's assessment.
"I think we'd like to tighten things up a little bit better defensively, so we'll look to improve that here (in Calgary)," said Crosby, whose team has gone 3-0-2 since dropping a 5-1 decision at home to the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 6. "We want to really build some momentum here. I think you're just ready to compete, especially on a road trip like this. It's big games every night. I think you just try to get up for them and expect anything."
Meanwhile, the Flames (5-4-0) will be looking to rebound from a 3-2 loss they suffered to the Canadiens on Tuesday in Montreal.
"You can't keep chasing games," said Calgary captain Mark Giordano following the disappointing loss to the Habs. "It's not a good thing to do in this league and eventually it's going to come back to bite you and we chased this one all night. We've got to learn to simplify when things are going well and put pucks in and try and grind away.
"We have to start playing the way we can early in games and we have to get some leads here and some momentum, because it's not good enough."
Forward Matthew Tkachuk, who had two assists in a losing cause, also expressed his disappointment following Tuesday's setback.
"It was a bad effort after we got away with one in New York thanks to our goalie," said Tkachuk in regards to the play of netminder David Rittich, who made 44 saves to backstop the Flames to a 4-1 road win over the New York Rangers on Sunday before keeping his team in the game in Montreal by stopping 37 more shots fired his way. "We talked about how our efforts haven't been great recently and how our goalie's been bailing us out."
Tkachuk went on to say that the Flames will need to bounce back with much better efforts at home against the Penguins on Thursday night and the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon.
"If we expect to play like that, we'll probably be blown out of the building by these teams coming in," warned Tkachuk. "So we have to sharpen it up."
Updated October 24, 2018