Penguins pull Fleury midway through second vs. Red Wings


Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury only survived 27:44 minutes against the Detroit Red Wings. Given the 4-0 score in favor of Detroit at the time Fleury was yanked, it’s hard to fault Penguins coach Mike Johnston for wanting to change things up.

It’s also hard to blame that score on Fleury.

The Penguins have played an undisciplined game, which led to the Red Wings enjoying an extended 5-on-3 advantage that Marek Zidlicky took advantage of 39 seconds into the second period. Then there’s the Henrik Zetterberg goal he was pulled for, which was arguably the result of poor defensive work rather than an error on Fleury’s part:

The first goal would have been a tough one for Fleury to stop given that it was a tip in by Riley Sheahan. Perhaps the marker that could be most pinned on Fleury was Teemu Pulkkinen’s blast late in the second period:

At the same time, this is the second straight game that Fleury has allowed four goals following Pittsburgh’s 6-4 win over Edmonton on Thursday.

Fleury leads Penguins past Kings in OT with NHL-leading ninth shutout

Marc-Andre Fleury, Nick Shore

The Kings heavily outshot the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, but Los Angeles didn’t have goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on its side and tonight he was the difference. Fleury kicked out all 31 Kings shots until finally Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist broke the scoreless tie in overtime.

Fleury was on a bit of a rough patch going into this game with three goals surrendered in each of his last three starts, but he’s been phenomenal overall this season with a 2.16 GAA and .924 save percentage. This was his ninth shutout of 2014-15, which is both the best in the NHL and just one away from doubling his old career high.

He also reached the 30-win mark for the sixth straight season, excluding the lockout shortened campaign. At the age of 30, he’s already accumulated 318 career wins, which puts him one shy of Miikka Kiprusoff and 25th place on the all-time list.

Of course, many of Fleury’s previous campaigns were impressive and that didn’t always translated to playoff success, but from a statistical perspective he’s never been this good in a regular season before.

Pittsburgh is now just three points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders, but this game was even more critical for Los Angeles. The defending Stanley Cup champions are a point back from the Calgary Flames and third place in the Pacific Division and three points shy of the second Wild Card seed.


Penguins prospect Murray posts fourth straight AHL shutout

Fleury sets franchise record as Pens blank the Flames

Marc-Andre Fleury

Sidney Crosby scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins shutout the Calgary Flames 4-0 Friday night.

The Penguins have now won three of four.

With the shutout, Fleury set a new franchise record.

Fleury made a highlight-reel save to rob Jiri Hudler of a sure goal early in the third period.

“It should mean a lot,” said Crosby of the record. “There’s some really good teams with some of the goalies that have played in Pittsburgh. How difficult it is; it’s not easy and he’s played for a long time. I’m definitely happy for him. He earned every bit of it tonight. He made some huge saves for us, like we’ve seen time and time again.

“The last 15 minutes there, you could tell that guys weren’t going to take any chances and when we did kind of give up something you could tell guys were extra desperate. For a 4-0 game you don’t see guys usually that desperate. That’s the reason why, and it’s good to see that. Guys really wanted to see him get that.”

Chris Kunitz had three assists in the win.

David Perron and Brandon Sutter had the other Penguins goals.

Jonas Hiller allowed four goals on 24 shots and was replaced Karri Ramo in the third. Ramo made six saves in relief.

With the loss, the Flames concluded their six-game home stand with a 4-2-0 record.

Goalie nods: Struggling Fleury to start versus Oilers

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils

Marc-Andre Fleury will be between the pipes for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Edmonton.

After starting the season so well, not to mention signing a $23 million extension, Fleury had a tough month of January, allowing 26 goals on 244 shots for a save percentage of just .893. (And his February didn’t start out too well either, with a 4-0 loss to Nashville on Sunday.)

Fleury’s five-on-five save percentage now ranks 23rd out of the 32 goalies that have played the most this season.

The Oilers are going with Viktor Fasth.


Cam Talbot for the Rangers versus Tuukka Rask for the Bruins.

Jonas Hiller for the Flames versus the Sharks, who have not announced a starter.

Goalie nods: Greiss starts for Pens, which has nothing to do with Fleury getting lit up at the All-Star Game

Pittsburgh Penguins v Carolina Hurricanes
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All the latest from the blue paint…

Extinguishing fire before it starts

Thomas Greiss will be in goal for Pittsburgh tonight when the Pens host the Jets at Consol for their first game out of the All-Stark break.

In a related move, let’s throw cold water on a potential goaltending controversy.

Fleury is slated to start tomorrow in Washington on Rivalry Night (NBCSN, 8 p.m. ET), so Greiss gets the first — and, theoretically, less “important” — start of a back-to-back. It also gives Fleury an additional day off following a rough time in Columbus.

Fleury, as you may recall, struggled during the All-Star Game, allowing seven goals on 16 shots in the second period for a .562 save percentage. He was the recipient of a Bronx Cheer from the Nationwide faithful, and visibly displeased about how things went.

Here’s more, from Brough’s piece following the game:

Did it bother him?

“A little bit. I was getting a little mad,” he admitted. “You want to have some fun, but when you’re a goalie it’s frustrating when it goes in, right? I laughed for a few, and a few…”

He didn’t laugh.

That being said, Fleury wasn’t all that upset when the sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena, home of the Blue Jackets, started giving him the gears.

“It’s a good thing, because (it means) we beat them in the playoffs last year,” he said.

And when asked what he remembered, specifically, about the Columbus crowd in those playoffs?

“I remember them being quiet in the end when we won,” he cracked.

For Winnipeg, Ondrej Pavelec gets the start in goal.


Rangers at Isles: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Jaroslav Halak

Coyotes at Flyers: Ray Emery for Philly, no word yet on an Arizona starter.

Caps at Blue Jackets: Braden Holtby vs. Curtis McElhinney

Red Wings at Panthers: Petr Mrazek vs. Roberto Luongo

Stars at Habs: Carey Price for Montreal, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Bolts at ‘Canes: Ben Bishop vs. Anton Khudobin

Avs at Preds: Carter Hutton likely for Nashville, no word yet on a Colorado starter.

Sabres at Flames: Jhonas Enorth vs. Jonas Hiller

Wild at Oilers: Devan Dubnyk vs. Viktor Fasth

Ducks at Canucks: No word yet from either team.