After missing eight games with a concussion, Marc-Andre Fleury has been activated off injured reserve.
The Penguins went 3-4-1 during Fleury’s absence.
The 31-year-old had a 13-10-2 record with a 2.29 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage before suffering the injury.
In a corresponding move, the Pens assigned goalie Matt Murray to the AHL.
The 21-year-old got his first taste of NHL action while Fleury was out and he didn’t look overwhelmed.
Murray had a 2-1-1 record with a 1.72 goals-against-average and a .938 save percentage in four games with Pittsburgh. He didn’t allow more than two goals in any of his appearances.
The Penguins are three points behind New Jersey and Detroit for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since being sidelined by a concussion earlier this month.
Fleury has missed Pittsburgh’s past six games since reporting concussion-like symptoms following a loss to Washington on Dec. 14.
He was a full participant in practice on Tuesday and facing shots for the first time since the diagnosis. Fleury said he was a little rusty, but said otherwise he felt pretty good. Coach Mike Sullivan called Fleury’s presence at practice “progress”, but declined to issue a timetable for Fleury’s return.
The Penguins are 2-4 without their top goaltender.
Defenseman Kris Letang also practiced on Tuesday. Letang was held out of a loss to Winnipeg on Sunday as a precaution after taking a shot to the head in a win over Minnesota last Saturday.
Welcome to the struggle, Mike Sullivan.
The Penguins’ new coach delivered two bits of bad news this morning, following last night’s 4-1 loss to Washington.
First, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury — arguably the number-one reason the Pens have managed to tread water this season — may have a concussion.
“He came to us last night and said he wasn’t feeling right,” Sullivan said. “He’s being tested but there’s a possibility it’s a concussion.”
Whatever the tests reveal, Fleury (13-10-2, .925 SV%) will not play tomorrow in Boston.
On top of that, Sullivan said that forward Beau Bennett will be out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury.
Bennett has five goals and five assists. His 10 points are good for seventh in team scoring.
GM Jim Rutherford confirmed to the Post-Gazette that Fleury does indeed have a concussion.
“I haven’t talked to the doctor yet. I don’t have any further information other than he was examined, and it was determined he was concussed,” said Rutherford. “At a minimum one to two weeks. You can’t put a timeline on these things though.”
The newspaper reports that goalie Matt Murray is likely to be recalled from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Related: Penguins focused on cleaner breakouts
Let’s all say it together: “Hockey goalies are tough.”
Marc-Andre Fleury experienced a busy first period even before he was getting patched up. Those repairs were needed when Ben Lovejoy accidentally high-sticked his own goalie, which managed to get under his mask and cut him up.
Fleury missed a little bit of time getting repairs, forcing Jeff Zatkoff to make three saves.
Pittsburgh’s workhorse seemed fine, essentially laughing it off … while bleeding.
Yes, that’s hockey.
Video is likely to come.
Montreal’s goalie Mike Condon stood out himself, even if he didn’t get wounded.
The second period’s been one of frustration for the Penguins, including Kris Letang getting frazzled because of the hit Andrei Markov delivered leading into Brendan Gallagher‘s goal:
For all the talk about Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, tonight’s Penguins – Capitals game was all about the goalies.
Ultimately, Marc-Andre Fleury bested Braden Holtby (shown best with Holtby slamming his stick against the bench after Nick Bonino‘s impressive empty-netter), and Pittsburgh bested Washington 3-1 on Wednesday.
Fleury’s efforts generated some well-deserved praise from onlookers.
It was a physical, nasty game at times, with all the missed shots maybe indicating that the two teams could use a few breaks to create more offense.
This leaves Pittsburgh in a strange spot.
Sidney Crosby and much of the offense is sputtering, even with Phil Kessel looking strong. The power play is … abysmal.
That would seem to spell disaster, yet the Penguins are now winners of five of their last six games.
Maybe it’s all about the positive spin, then. If Pittsburgh can generate offense on a regular basis, then perhaps the Penguins will be a contender once again?
That’s up to debate, but either way, a series against the Capitals would probably be a lot of fun, right?