No morning skate for a 1 p.m. start, obviously, but there were a couple of notes I wanted to share pregame.
— Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start in goal. Coach Mike Sullivan on that:
“He’s played really well. He’s had some strong games, making timely saves. Both of our guys have. These guys are giving us a chance to win. It’s certainly a strong point of our team, when you look at how our team is built and the nature of how the schedule has been built this year with the condensed schedule, I think more and more teams are having to rely on two goalies. Certainly we feel like we have a really strong tandem.”
On that strong tandem … I had this stat up here on the blog the other day, but I think it bears repeating. Since Christmas, Fleury and Matt Murray have nearly identical numbers.
Since the trade deadline, Fleury’s actually been one of the better goaltenders in the league.
I’m not trying to make any sort of dramatic point about the state of goaltending in the Penguins organization here. Just noting that Fleury’s been very good lately.
— With Roberto Luongo out with a lower-body injury, James Reimer is expected to start in net for Florida. He has excellent career numbers against the Penguins (4-1-2, 2.37, .924).
— Jaromir Jagr has two goals and four points in his last five games.
— Another example of how the loser point obscures records in the NHL: The Penguins and Panthers have met 87 times. Neither team must claim a losing record in the all-time series.
The Penguins are 47-31-9. The Panthers are 36-36-15.
More after the game,