Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils

Goalie nods: Struggling Fleury to start versus Oilers

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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.

Elsewhere…

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.

Elsewhere…

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.

Marc-Andre Fleury would like to remind the Columbus crowd that the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets in the playoffs

2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game
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COLUMBUS — Marc-Andre Fleury struggled in today’s All-Star Game. Because that’s what goalies do in games where no defense is played. They struggle.

Not all of them struggle quite like Fleury did, mind you. The Penguins’ netminder allowed seven goals in a second period that ended, mercifully for the goalies, as the highest-scoring period in All-Star Game history.

“It was a slow period,” he said. “It felt like forever. I think after 10 minutes it was six goals in already. I was like…it’s a tough one.”

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.

And yes, he was joking.

Mostly.

“It’s a good crowd,” he finally conceded. “They get loud.”

Except, of course, when they lose in the playoffs.

They’re quiet then.

Rangers chase Fleury early in second period

Marc-Andre Fleury
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A compacted schedule indicated that the Pittsburgh Penguins might carry the advantage against the New York Rangers on Sunday, but that hasn’t happened. At least not yet.

The Rangers have instead had the early jump. Rick Nash scored the 1-0 goal 26 seconds into the game and New York took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Things really fell apart for the Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury specifically in the second period, as Nash’s odd second goal made it 3-1 and then Derek Stepan chased him with a 4-1 goal minutes later.

Overall, Fleury allowed four goals on 17 shots in 25:19 of game time. This isn’t all on “MAF,” yet it’s been a rough outing nonetheless.

Goalie nods: Halak vs. Fleury in battle of All-Star replacements

Jaroslav Halak

All the latest from the blue paint…

Halak to face Fleury

Interesting sidebar to tonight’s Penguins-Islanders game at Nassau — Marc-Andre Fleury and Jaroslav Halak, named as replacement All-Stars for Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard yesterday, will square off in a key Metropolitan Division showdown.

The Isles head into tonight’s action one point up on the Pens, and much of that has to do with Halak’s play this year; he’s won nine of his last 11 starts and has been very good against Pittsburgh this season, posting a 1.52 GAA and .954 save percentage through two head-to-head matchups.

Fleury has been equally strong this season, especially against the Isles — he’s secured three of a possible four points with a 2.40 GAA and .929 save percentage.

Elsewhere…

Canucks at ‘Canes: Cam Ward for Carolina, no word yet on a Vancouver starter.

Rangers at Jackets: Henrik Lundqvist for New York, Sergei Bobrovsky likely for Columbus.

Caps at Preds: Braden Holtby vs. Carter Hutton

Jets at ‘Hawks: Corey Crawford for Chicago, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.

Devils at Ducks: Cory Schneider vs. Ilya Bryzgalov