Flames-Penguins: Sidney Crosby Held Pointless in Calgary Debut
The game marked Sidney Crosby's debut in the Pengrowth Saddledome.
In the end, Crosby was kept off the score sheet for just the third time this season, but Kris Letang's shootout goal against Miikka Kiprusoff gave the Pens a 3-2 victory.
Kristian Huselius was the only Flame who managed to convert in the shootout against Pittsburgh goalie Dany Sabourin. Captain Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, and Matthew Lombardi all failed to deliver.
Iginla, to his credit, did open the scoring for the Flames late in the first period. He also netted a go-ahead goal late in the second after Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin tied the game at one.
The game-saver for the Penguins came at 11:29 of the third period, as Ryan Malone picked a misplayed puck during a Calgary power play and scored on a breakaway.
Sabourin replaced an injured Marc-Andre Fleury early in the first period for the Pens, and went on to make 24 saves against heavy pressure from Calgary.
Kiprusoff was equally strong in notching 33 saves for the Flames.
Flames fans got to see longtime Calgary forward Gary Roberts—the last remaining active player from the Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup squad.
Roberts was matched against Dion Phaneuf most of the game, and Phaneuf's huge hit on Roberts brought the 19,289 fans to their feet early on.
The veteran got his revenge against the enforcer when he knocked Phaneuf to the ice in the third period, drawing a high-sticking penalty.
Phaneuf also deserves credit for helping to hold Crosby pointless. Whenever Crosby took the ice, Phaneuf shadowed his every move.
Calgary's Robyn Regehr took a puck off his foot in the second period and played one more shift before leaving the game. The Flames have not yet released an update on Regehr’s condition.
All told, the Flames did well to salvage a point on Thursday. They'll need plenty more of them if they want to climb the NHL standings.
Kiprusoff continued to improve after being targeted by coach Mike Keenan for his poor play. His performance will be key as the Flames embark on a six-game road trip, their longest of the season.
Calgary's next game will be in Chicago on Sunday.
As for Pittsburgh—the Pens wrap up their Canadian tour by heading to GM Place, where they'll hope to complete a perfect swing through Western Canada.
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