Fleury looking good for the Pens

Veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s stellar performance Thursday in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ opener is a reminder that Fleury is a No. 1 goalie regardless of where he ends up on this team’s depth chart. Fleury made 39 saves and thwarted Alex Ovechkin on a shootout attempt to get a big win by a score of 3-2 against the division-rival Washington Capitals. “We are thrilled for Marc,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, “because of how hard he battled to come back last year. It was a difficult circumstance for him personally.” The Penguins raised their Stanley Cup championship banner in a pregame ceremony, and it was a championship won without Fleury in the net. With Fleury sidelined by a concussion, rookie Matt Murray established himself as the starter in last season’s playoffs. Murray went 15-6 in the playoffs, and it seemed as if Fleury’s days as Pittsburgh’s starter were over. Murray is nine years younger than Fleury, and far less expensive. It doesn’t help Fleury’s case that there will be an expansion draft held this summer, and the Penguins can only protect one goalie. But Fleury’s good effort, on such an important night, did seem to say that he doesn’t plan to give up his status without a fight. “He has worked really hard to get to this point,” Sullivan said. “I thought he made some real good saves for us, especially in overtime. He was solid.” He stayed with Ovechkin on the final shootout attempt, and never gave him the opportunity to find a hole against him. Sophomore Chase Lane had said this about the game: “it was good.”


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