Penguins’ Johnson sharp in return
Seventeen days seemed like forever between starts for backup goalie Brent Johnson, who stopped 30 shots Saturday in the Penguins’ 4-1 victory over Calgary at Consol Energy Center. He hadn’t played since Nov. 10 after starting half of the Penguins’ first 16 games.
Johnson was sharp, especially considering the challenge of not facing a heavy workload in the first period. The Penguins were up in shots, 24-6, at the first intermission.
“After that first period, I kind of looked at (goalie Marc-Andre Fleury) and was like, ‘Oh, my God!’ ” Johnson said. “We were so good, and I just had to keep my eyes open and play the puck whenever it came to me, which wasn’t often.”
The Flames had 11 shots in the second period — to Johnson’s relief.
“I was lucky to get some work in the second,” he said. “That made it easier to go out there for the third.”
Johnson turned aside 13 of 14 shots in the final period.
Home now sweet
Consol Energy Center wasn’t kind to the Penguins early, but they are 5-0-1 in the new arena after a 2-5-0 start.
Some statistics from this hot stretch: 5 for 21 on the power play, 21 for 22 on the penalty kill, plus-9 goal differential, 34.5 shots per game.
“We’ve done a good job on the road. But now putting the wins together, it’s starting to feel like home,” coach Dan Bylsma said.
Roll over, Craig Adams
A veteran of 612 regular-season games, winger Craig Adams put that experience to use in the second period.
Battling for position in front of the Calgary goal, Adams was knocked to the ice on his back when the puck moved through the slot toward the circles. Right wing Arron Asham charged to meet the puck with a slap shot.
Adams spotted him at the last second and rolled forward, burying his face on the ice and trying to cover his head with his arms. Asham’s shot made it through traffic and past goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
After hearing the sellout crowd’s roar, Adams cautiously raised his head before rushing to join the celebration.
“Smart player,” Bylsma said. “Staying on his back wouldn’t have been a great idea.”
Around the boards
The Penguins are 4-0-0 in their 2008 Winter Classic baby-blue sweaters. … With two assists, defenseman Brooks Orpik had his first multipoint game in 30 contests dating to March 28. … Center Sidney Crosby has 25 points in his past 12 games.