(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to regain the top spot in the Metropolitan Division when they visit the streaking Calgary Flames for Friday's battle at the Saddledome.
Thanks to Wednesday's 2-0 win in Edmonton, the Penguins were able to leap over the idle New York Islanders to take a one point lead for first place in the division. However, the Isles regained the top spot on Thursday after posting a shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Marc Andre-Fleury made 22 saves for his league-leading seventh shutout of the season in the win over the Oilers. Fleury also tied the franchise record for shutouts in a season, which was set by Tom Barrasso in 1997-98.
"(Fleury) tonight was unbelievable," Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. "He played a really strong game."
Evgeni Malkin scored in his return to the lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury and David Perron, who was traded from Edmonton on Jan. 2, lit the lamp for the Penguins, who bounced back from a 4-0 loss to Nashville on Sunday.
Malkin's tally was his 20th of the season, marking the seventh time in nine NHL seasons that he's hit the mark. The Russian star also tied Kevin Stevens for sixth place on the franchise's all-time scoring list with 260 goals.
Pens defenseman Christian Ehrhoff missed his third straight game due to a head injury and he is expected to sit out again tonight.
With Pittsburgh slated to end a three-game road trip tomorrow in Vancouver, Fleury could get a rest either tonight or on Saturday. Fleury is 6-1-0 with a 1.70 goals against average in eight career games against the Flames, while backup Thomas Greiss is 1-2-0 with a 2.36 GAA in three lifetime appearances in this matchup.
Calgary has won three straight and could match a season-best winning streak with another victory tonight. That win could be tough to come by, however, if the Flames' recent history against the Penguins is any indication of what will transpire this evening.
Pittsburgh has won eight straight in this series and hasn't lost to the Flames since Dec. 3, 2005. Calgary also has lost four in a row at home in this matchup with its last victory as the host coming on Dec. 7, 2003.
The Flames won for the eighth time in 10 games with Wednesday's 3-1 decision over visiting San Jose. The triumph pushed Calgary to 3-1-0 on a five-game homestand that ends tonight.
Jonas Hiller stopped 28 shots and three different Calgary players lit the lamp to help the Flames down the Sharks and forge a tie with Calgary for second place in the Pacific Division. However, the Sharks beat Vancouver in regulation on Thursday to move two points ahead of Calgary for second place. The fourth-place Canucks, meanwhile, remained two points in back of the Flames.
Kris Russell, Jiri Hudler and Mason Raymond scored on Wednesday for the Flames.
"I thought we were good for 60 minutes ... It was a good team effort," Russell said.
Hudler tallied on the man advantage, giving Calgary power-play goals in three straight games for the first time since Nov. 29-Dec. 4.
After tonight, Calgary will be idle until visiting the Sharks on Monday for another key Pacific battle.
Hiller is expected to start tonight for the Flames. The veteran backstop is 2-3-1 with a 2.83 GAA in his career against Pittsburgh.