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Durable Fleury proving an iron man for Pens

Sunday, 01.22.2012 / 12:01 PM / NHL Insider

By Alan Robinson - Correspondent

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Durable Fleury proving an iron man for Pens
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will be appearing in his 21st consecutive game for Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon.
PITTSBURGH — He plays in the Steel City, but goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is becoming the Pittsburgh Penguins' iron man.
Fleury will start Sunday afternoon when the Penguins meet the Washington Capitals at Consol Energy Center in the continuation of one of the Eastern Conference's best rivalries – even though the teams are in different divisions.

Marc-Andre Fleury
Goalie - PIT
RECORD: 24-12-2
GAA: 2.24 | SVP: 0.914
Fleury (24-12-2) will be playing in his 21st consecutive game as the Penguins try to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games. He has started each game in a streak that followed a six-game losing streak, and has allowed two goals or fewer in eight of his last 13 starts.

Backup Brent Johnson, who has only two wins, was pulled during his last starts, Dec. 16 and Jan. 10, with both games against Ottawa. Fleury last sat out a full game Dec. 3, when Johnson earned a 3-2 victory over Carolina.
With one game remaining before the All-Star break following Sunday's game -- Tuesday in St. Louis -- coach Dan Bylsma decided to stay with Fleury. The Penguins have a week off between games during the break, and center Evgeni Malkin is currently their only All-Star Game representative.
"A full six-day rest coming up certainly plays into that equation, as has the schedule this month," Bylsma said.
After the regular season resumes, the Penguins play three sets of back-of-back games in a span of 2 1/2 weeks, and Johnson is likely to make several of those starts.
Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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