Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) blocks a shot during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Associated Press

Penguins’ Fleury will miss Saturday’s clash with Isles because of a concussion


The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on Saturday afternoon because of a concussion.

This is the second time Fleury’s been sidelined with a concussion in 2015-16. The 31-year-old missed eight games between Dec. 16 and Dec. 31 for the same reasons. It’s unclear how long Fleury will be out, but with their playoff spot locked up, the Penguins will allow their goaltender to heal up before the start of the postseason.

“Marc wasn’t feeling well when he came to the rink [Friday] and we sent him to see our doctors,” head coach Mike Sullivan said, per the Post-Gazette. “He was diagnosed with a concussion [Friday] afternoon, so he’s not with us right now.”

Saturday’s game between Pittsburgh and New York will be huge for both teams. The Islanders will have an opportunity to cut the gap between themselves, the Rangers and the Penguins if they can get the two points this afternoon. The Pens will look to cement their spot in second place.

Here’s an updated look at the Metro Division standings:


Video: Eric Staal needs just one hand to beat Marc-Andre Fleury

Eric Staal opened the scoring in Sunday’s tilt between the Rangers and Pittsburgh. Staal took a cross-ice pass from Kevin Hayes and re-directed it behind Marc-Andre Fleury with just one hand on his stick. The goal was Staal’s 12th of the season and his second goal as a member of the Rangers.

Unfortunately for New York, Matt Cullen answered before the end of the first period to tie the game at one.

This game has huge implications in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers, who are second in the division, are four points ahead of the Penguins, but Pittsburgh has a game in hand.

The score is tied 1-1 going into the second period.


Goalie on goalie crime: Fleury calls Lundqvist’s meltdown ‘baby stuff’

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury skate away after shaking hands after the Rangers' 2-1 win in Game 7 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series, in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo)

In the grand tradition of Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas and tires that did not get pumped, it appears as if we have a little bit of goalie-to-goalie trash-talking to bask in.

The Pittsburgh Penguins Twitter feed sure had some fun with Henrik Lundqvist‘s net-chucking mini-meltdown, and it appears to be in line with how at least some of their players feel.

Marc-Andre Fleury goes as far as to call Lundqvist’s actions “baby stuff,” according to Pens Inside Scoop.

(At least one other source confirms the phrasing.)

Here’s a reminder of said “baby stuff.”

And, again, the Penguins were amused:

Pittsburgh’s laughing after a 4-1 win against the New York Rangers tonight, but allow some begging: can this be a playoff series in 2016? Pretty please?

(H/T to The Score.)

Zatkoff starts against Bolts because Fleury is dealing with an illness

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff (37) replaces goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) is goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Penguins made a last-minute lineup change on Saturday afternoon.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who was scheduled to start against Tampa Bay, will be forced into backup duties because he’s dealing with an illness.

So, it’ll be Jeff Zatkoff who faces the Lightning instead.

This is a huge game for both teams.

The Pens and Bolts currently own both Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference, but the Devils and Hurricanes aren’t too far behind.

Wild Card

The Penguins haven’t announced if Fleury will be healthy enough to start against the Sabres on Sunday.

Pens’ Fleury on head coach Sullivan: ‘He’s been good for us’

Pittsburgh Penguins' coach Mike Sullivan gives instructions during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Pittsburgh, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. The Penguins won 5-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Associated Press

When Mike Sullivan took over as the Penguins head coach on Dec. 12, the team was right behind Boston for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Heading into the All-Star break, Sullivan and his staff have Pittsburgh clinging to that final Wild Card spot, but what’s most encouraging is their improved play.

The Sullivan era didn’t start off on the right foot.

The Penguins lost their first four games with him behind the bench and they managed just three wins in his first nine contests, but that losing streak seems like a distant memory with the way Pittsburgh is playing now.

“I like him,” said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, per the Pittsburgh Tribune. “He’s intense. He’s got some emotions. He’s upbeat. He’s honest and straight to the point. He’s been good for us.”

In January, the Penguins went 6-2-3 with Sullivan at the helm and improved to 9-3-4 after the four game losing streak.

His serious approach behind the bench seems to be having its desired affect on the players.

“I don’t look at myself as this hard coach,” Sullivan said. “I think I’m an honest coach. I think I’m a matter-of-fact coach. I told these guys at our first meeting: ‘We have some great players in the room. Our challenge is to become a great team. It’s my responsibility to try to facilitate that process.’

“I like to have as much fun as the next guy, and I think in time our players will see it. But, you know, we’re in a circumstance here that I think has called for a serious approach. The conversation I have with them all the time is, how do we have to play in order to win, and what is your contribution?

Sullivan’s arrival has also coincided with the improved play of Sidney Crosby.

The Pens captain had 19 points in 28 games before the new coach’s took over and 22 points in 20 games since.

On a lighter note, here are some fun facts about coach Sullivan (via The Tribune):

-Billy Joel is his favorite musical act.

-His favorite Broadway musical is Jersey Boys (he’s seen it four times).

-He doesn’t invest much time in fixing his hair before games.