Will Fleury get the nod Saturday against Ottawa?
Two days ago seems so short a time, and yet so much has happened. Two days ago word broke that Marian Hossa would soon be a Penguin. Two days ago, Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen made their teary-eyed way out of Mellon Arena to the likes of Atlanta. Two nights ago, Ty Conklin single-handedly secured the win for the Pens.
Two days ago, it looked and felt like no one could stop the Pens.
But again - that was two days ago.
Stopping 50 of 52 shots Tuesday night against the Islanders, Ty Conklin found an early seat on the bench Thursday in Boston after allowing three goals on 13 shots to give the Bruins an early and commanding 3-0 lead.
Marc-Andre Fleury's debut relief effort proved to test his sore ankle since his injured departure on December 6. He quickly gave up a goal to a wide open Bruin in front of the net to make it 4-0 in favor of Beantown. He'd give up two more before the night was done.Next to losing the game, even more disappointing and shocking to Pens fans and hockey fans alike was the undisclosed knee injury reportedly keeping Marian Hossa off the ice since the first period. Amazingly, in efforts to reform the team through the enduring injuries, the newly signed All-Star is expected to miss up to a week with a sprained MCL.
Conditions of an MCL Sprain
* Mild tenderness on the inside of the knee over the ligament * Usually no swelling * When the knee is bent to 30 degrees and force applied to the outside of the knee (stressing the medial ligament) pain is felt but there is no joint laxity (looseness) Information courtesy of sportsinjuryclinic.net
Naysayers and Armstrong/Christensen supporters laughed maniacally, while Penguins fans in support of the Hossa/Dupuis trade collectively shook their heads in disbelief.
What's one week for a guy who hasn't even logged 20 minutes of ice time? It may not mean much to Hossa, but to the Pens it's pretty crucial.
Over the next week, the Penguins have scheduled games against Ottawa, Atlanta, Tampa and Florida. Teams that, on the surface, don't seem to pose as much a threat. However as previous meetings in the season would prove, each game should be an expectedly close one.
Ottawa rallied back from three down to win 4-3 in OT. Atlanta rallied back earlier this year to win 3-2 on a Mark Recchi shootout goal. The Lightning shut-out the Pens 3-0 on the day Sid went down. Florida just barely lost 3-2 when Ryan Malone clinched the win with less than 30 seconds remaining in the Pens' three-goal third period rally.
Clearly this does not pose as an easy task.
Ironically enough, the Penguins' only goal on the night came via the newcomer in the number nine sweater, Pascal Dupuis. Kennedy and Taffe connected on a laced pass to Dupuis to at least kill the hopes of a Tim Thomas shutout before the eyes of the Boston home crowd.
In Atlanta's 5-4 loss to the Islanders, Armstrong and Recchi each registered an assist.
The saga continues Saturday at 3pm when the Pens takes on the Senators.
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