Goalie nods: Greiss gets Wild, despite Fleury’s back-to-back shutouts


News and notes from around the crease…

Fleury takes a seat

Interesting decision from the Penguins tonight, as they’ll give backup Thomas Greiss the start against the Wild at Xcel — even though Marc-Andre Fleury, the NHL’s reigning third star of the week, is in the midst of a two-game shutout streak.

The Penguins kick off a five-game roadie starting tonight and Greiss hasn’t played since Oct. 23, so there are some reasons to get him in. That said, Fleury has been nothing short of outstanding lately — he actually has three shutouts in his last four starts — and tonight’s game is one of Pittsburgh’s bigger tests; Minnesota is third in the NHL in goals per game (3.40) with a perfect 5-0-0 record at home, and the Penguins have some “easier” games on this trip, including a stop in Buffalo on Saturday.

For the Wild, Darcy Kuemper will be in goal.


Panthers at Bruins: Roberto Luongo vs. Tuukka Rask

Oilers at Flyers: Viktor Fasth vs. Steve Mason

Flames at Caps: Jonas Hiller vs. Braden Holtby

‘Canes at Jackets: Cam Ward vs. Curtis McElhinney

Wings at Sens: Jimmy Howard vs. Craig Anderson

‘Hawks at Habs: Corey Crawford vs. Carey Price

Blues at Devils: Jake Allen vs. Cory Schneider

Preds at Jets: Carter Hutton vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Kings at Stars: Kari Lehtonen for Dallas, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Canucks at Avs: Ryan Miller vs. Semyon Varlamov

Leafs at Coyotes: Mike Smith for Arizona, Jonathan Bernier likely for Toronto.

Tarasenko, Datsyuk, Fleury named NHL’s three stars of the week


St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko, Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury have been named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 2.

The highlights:

Tarasenko led the NHL with five goals and tied for first with a +6 rating in powering the Blues (6-3-1, 13 points) to a trio of victories.

Datsyuk (4-3—7) tied for the League lead with seven points in three games to help the Red Wings (6-2-3, 15 points) earn five out of a possible six standings points.

Fleury went 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and two shutouts to backstop the Penguins (7-2-1, 15 points) to three consecutive wins (and four straight overall).

Fleury had a great week, though it’s worth mentioning the combined efforts of Winnipeg goalies Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson. The Jets tandem allowed just four goals on 120 shots last week — a .967 save percentage — and combined for back-to-back 1-0 shutouts over the Rangers and Blackhawks on the weekend.

Red hot Fleury sends Sabres further into abyss


It’s not really fair. The Buffalo Sabres have trouble scoring under normal circumstances and tonight they had to face a hot goaltender. The result was a 5-0 victory for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Marc-Andre Fleury collected his third shutout in four games, although the Sabres only managed 18 shots on goal. Buffalo has now been shutout five times in just 12 contests. They’ve gone 0-1-1 since Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers claimed that they hit “rock bottom.”

Chris Kunitz had a big night with two goals and an assist, including one of the Penguins’ three power-play markers tonight.

Sidney Crosby also picked up three assists, giving him 18 points in 10 contests. To put that into context: Crosby has more points this season than Buffalo has goals. The same could be said for Evgeni Malkin (15 points), Patric Hornqvist (14), or Kunitz (13) as the Sabres have only scored 12 times this season.

Video: McKenzie, Milbury on Fleury’s future in Pittsburgh


During the first intermission of tonight’s Penguins-Flyers game on NBCSN, Mike Milbury and Bob McKenzie discussed the big news out of Pittsburgh this week: GM Jim Rutherford giving Marc-Andre Fleury a vote of confidence as the Pens’ goalie moving forward, and confirmation he would try to sign the pending UFA.

“As long as I’m GM here, he’s my goalie,” Rutherford told ESPN.com earlier this week. “My plan is to re-sign him when the time is right. When that is, I don’t know, if it’s during the year or after the year, but I do want to re-sign him.

“I believe in him.”

Fleury, who turns 30 in November, is in the last of a seven-year, $35 million deal that carries a $5M average annual cap hit. Part of Rutherford’s desire to keep Fleury could be the relatively weak UFA goalie class projected for this summer; it’s currently headed by Antti Niemi, Viktor Fasth, Jhonas Enroth, Josh Harding, Karri Ramo, Jonas Gustavsson and Michal Neuvirth, and there are no guarantees all of them even get to market.

Goalie nods: Fleury to start fifth straight for Pens


All the latest from around the crease…

Pittsburgh keeps ridin’ Fleury

The Pens will stick with Marc-Andre Fleury in goal tonight when they host the Flyers in an NBCSN Rivalry Night game at Consol. Fleury, who stopped 34 of 35 shots in Saturday’s win over the Islanders, has played every game this season for Pittsburgh and posted solid-if-unspectacular numbers: 3-1-0, .915 save percentage and 2.50 GAA.

For Philly, it’s unclear who will get the start. Steve Mason played last night in a 4-0 loss to Chicago and was busy, stopping 39 of 43 shots, so it’s possible the club could go to Ray Emery in the second of a back-to-back. (Update: sounds like Emery.)


Caps at Oilers: Braden Holtby for Washington; Ben Scrivens likely for Edmonton

Sabres at Ducks: Frederik Andersen for Anaheim; Jhonas Enroth likely for Buffalo