Penguins beat Flames 4-0 behind Fleury
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Sidney Crosby had no problem putting an end to his recent scoring troubles.
Crosby had two goals and an assist and Marc-Andre Fleury earned his NHL-leading eighth shutout of the season as the Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-0 over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
Mired in a mini-slump with two assists in his last six games, Crosby was the best player on the ice - along with Fleury, of course - as the Penguins outplayed the Flames, who entered the night having won eight of their last 10.
''I felt good. As a whole I think our whole team played well tonight,'' said Crosby, who now has 17 goals. ''They always play well here. There's not a lot of room. That being said, you come willing to work and try to take advantage of your chances.
''It's nice to put some in. They haven't been going in as easy as you would like sometimes.''
Crosby moved into fourth in NHL scoring with 56 points. He trails Jakub Voracek (58), Patrick Kane (58) and Tyler Seguin (57).
David Perron and Brandon Sutter also scored for Pittsburgh, which moved past the New York Islanders and atop the Metropolitan Division. Chris Kunitz chipped in with three assists.
''Chris had one of the best games I've seen him play in a long time,'' said Penguins coach Mike Johnston. ''He had a lot of energy tonight, he was skating with the puck and he was skating and making plays.''
Calgary finished 4-2 on a six-game homestand. The Flames now head to California to play key games next week against San Jose and Los Angeles.
''A good homestand,'' said Flames defenseman Mark Giordano. ''We did a lot of good things, put ourselves in a good position. We'll go on the road here and hopefully we'll pick up some much-needed points.''
Fleury had 21 saves to break Tom Barrasso's club record for shutouts in a season.
''It's good. He was a guy that I looked up to growing up, so it's fun to be able to get those,'' Fleury said. ''There are personal goals you want to achieve. I'm glad I got it, but at the same time, I want to do well as a team, I want to win, and that's what is most important.''
After blanking Edmonton on Wednesday, Fleury has a shutout streak of 131 minutes, 40 seconds.
''That's really incredible for this time in the season to have eight shutouts,'' said Johnston. ''We were debating a little bit about what to do with these two games and we decided he had a good game in Edmonton, let's give him the second one.''
Crosby made it 3-0 midway in the second period, outracing Paul Byron to the net and, with one hand on his stick, deflecting in Kunitz's centering pass.
In the third period, Crosby blew past Byron again and ripped a shot under the crossbar.
''He plays a great game, a complete game,'' said Giordano. ''He made us pay tonight. He got a lot of chances, those two goals he scored were superstar-caliber goals.''
Hiller left at that point, having stopped 20 of 24. Karri Ramo was perfect on six shots in relief.
Perron opened the scoring 5:46 into the game on his eighth goal in 14 games since being acquired from Edmonton. Sutter made it 2-0 with less than two minutes to play in the first period.
Notes: Pittsburgh has beaten Calgary nine straight times, the Penguins' longest win streak against any team. ... The Flames activated Curtis Glencross (lower body) off injured reserve although he sat out his sixth game. He's expected to play Monday in San Jose. ... Calgary's last home ice win against Pittsburgh was Dec. 7, 2003.