— 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.
Goalie - PIT
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.