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Penguins

Game 18: Pens Vs. Thrashers Preview

By: Casey Shea
sidney crosby, pittsburgh penguins, nhl, hockey,

(Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins earned a hard-fought victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night and will look for a second straight win Saturday against Atlanta.

Marc-Andre Fleury became the seventh youngest goaltender to win 150 games by making 15 saves against the Bolts.

While 15 saves sounds like an easy night in net, Fleury (2-6, 3.23 GAA, 860 save percentage) made several sparkling saves to preserve the lead in the third period.

Two such saves came while the Pens were killing off a 5-on-3 advantage for Tampa Bay while clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Shortly after, Max Talbot, Sidney Crosby and Deryk Engelland added goals to put the game away.

Tonight, the Pens will travel to Atlanta to take on a Thrashers team they have had success against recently.

Pittsburgh has won eight of the last nine contests between the two teams, including taking three out of four last season.

While Pittsburgh has been getting a ton of offensive help from its defense corps, Atlanta’s defense also packs an offensive punch.

Dustin Byfuglien (six goals, 10 assists) is tied for the league-lead in points by a defenseman. He’s tied with Kris Letang (three goals, 13 assists) and Nicklas Lidstrom (two goals, 14 assists).

The Thrashers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

It remains to be seen if Dan Bylsma will turn to Fleury for a second straight night, or if he will go back to Brent Johnson (6-2-1, 2.11 GAA, .927 save percentage).

Both goaltenders have had success against the Thrashers in their careers.

Fleury holds a 9-4 record with a 2.24 GAA and .918 save percentage with one shutout against Atlanta.

Johnson is 8-3 with a 2.45 GAA and .915 save percentage with two shutouts.

One man the Thrashers will need to keep an eye on is Sidney Crosby, who has tortured Atlanta in his career.

In addition to having nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last four games, Crosby has 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 18 career games against Atlanta.

The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and can be seen on FSN Pittsburgh.

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