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Penguins' Fleury shuts out Flames

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Penguins and Flames treated their rare

meeting as a playoff game. Marc-Andre Fleury certainly played

as if the stakes were that high.

Fleury made 31 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and

Pittsburgh kept pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race with

a 2-0 win over Calgary on Wednesday night.

"It's like playoff hockey right now, with how that game was,"

Fleury said. "Every goal was big and every save was big."

Fleury was responsible for several of the latter, defensemen

Kris Letang and Hal Gill the former for the Penguins, who

improved to 4-1-1 on their franchise-record eight-game

homestand. Evgeni Malkin had an assist, giving him 106 points

and extending his NHL scoring lead to 10 points.

After having its 12-game points streak snapped in a 3-1 loss to

Philadelphia on Sunday, Pittsburgh beat the Flames in a

spirited, hard-hitting, end-to-end contest to take over sole

possession of sixth place in the conference with 88 points - a

point behind Carolina and two behind Philadelphia.

The Flames - playing in Pittsburgh for the first time since

December 5, 2005 - remained three points ahead of idle Vancouver

atop the Northwest Division.

Facing the team ranked second in the league in goals per game,

Fleury earned his 15th career shutout. He has allowed only 20

goals in 11 starts this month.

"He played unbelievable," Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal said.

"He was there for every save."

Some of the Flames' best chances came during their five

power-play opportunities, including a four-minute chance that

spanned the second intermission after Malkin was penalized for

high-sticking Jim Vandermeer.

"The difference for us was not being able to score on the power

play," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "When you get five

opportunities and you come up with nothing, you're not going to

win a hockey game on the road."

Fleury stopped David Moss from in close during that power play

and denied Curtis Glencross at least three times throughout the

course of the game on chances from in front of the net. Another

of Fleury's better saves was on Calgary goals leader Michael

Cammalleri on a rebound of Olli Jokinen's shot.

"Special teams are a big part of it, and they beat us in that

area tonight," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "For the most

part, it was a one-goal game the whole time, and if we get one

there (on the four-minute power play) going into the third, 1-1

is a solid spot to be in on the road. And we didn't get it

done."

Letang got the only goal Pittsburgh would need, his ninth, 8:20

into the contest, when he slammed home a puck while on the power

play and wide open to the right of Flames goalie Miikka

Kiprusoff.

Malkin began the play with a slap shot from the right circle.

The rebound came to Sidney Crosby, who was standing on the goal

line on that side. He slid a pass through the crease to Letang.

Letang has four goals this month and eight in his past 24 games.

He has 10 points in 14 games under interim coach Dan Bylsma.

Gill, a 6-foot-7 defensive defenseman with only 31 goals in 845

career games, had to have one of his prettiest 6:43 into the

third after Malkin carried the puck down the right wing into the

Calgary end and left it for Gill.

Gill's second of the season was a wrist shot from high in the

right circle that beat Kiprusoff on his stick side, perfectly

placed into the top-left corner just inside the crossbar and

post.

When asked if he had a particular spot in mind when he let the

puck go, Gill deadpanned, "Yep, the net."

"It's fun to score goals," he added. "These guys like Geno

(Malkin) do it all the time, but you know, for me, it doesn't

happen very often."

The Penguins are 13-2-3 since Bylsma took over for the fired

Michel Therrien on February 15.

"Everyone's contributing right now, that's the big thing," Staal

said. "That's playoff hockey, and that's what we're looking

for."

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