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Marc-Andre Fleury unsure of future with Penguins

Pittsburgh could move goalie before NHL Trade Deadline, prior to Expansion Draft

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Marc-Andre Fleury doesn't know where he'll be after the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline, which comes at 3 p.m. ET on March 1, so he could not be sure if his 44 saves in a 4-3 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday might be his last with the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

If it was, he has a great memory to take with him.

Although the headline star of the night was Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who got his 1,000th NHL point with a first-period assist and scored the winning goal with 22 seconds remaining in overtime, Fleury had the sellout crowd of 18,638 chanting his name after several highlight-reel saves.

"The support I get here is always amazing," Fleury said. "You don't know what's coming [at the trade deadline], and that was nice, a nice feeling."

Fleury was at his best during overtime, making a glove save on Nikolaj Ehlers on a breakaway with 2:06 remaining and a right-toe save on Bryan Little on a 2-on-1 with 1:09 left.

Video: WPG@PIT: Fleury denies Ehlers on breakaway in OT

"The fans have been behind me and very supportive over the years and it was nice tonight to hear them chant my name again," Fleury said.

Fleury, 32, has been sharing the goaltending with rookie Matt Murray this season. But Murray, 22, has carried most of the load when he's been healthy, as he did during the Penguins' run to the Stanley Cup last season.

Although general manager Jim Rutherford has talked repeatedly about enjoying the luxury of having Murray and Fleury, if he has an opportunity to move Fleury before the trade deadline and upgrade the roster for another run at the Stanley Cup, he would have to consider it. Fleury has a lot of control over the situation because his contract includes a no-movement clause and a limited no-trade clause.

But if Rutherford doesn't ask Fleury to accept a trade before the deadline, he might ask him to waive his no-movement clause before he has to submit his list of protected players June 17 for the 2017 Expansion Draft. Fleury, who would have to be protected by the Penguins if he doesn't waive the no-move clause, might welcome going to a new team at some point to get a chance to play more.

But he said he wasn't thinking about that after the game Thursday.

"Hopefully you guys just have too much time to think about stuff like that," Fleury said.

The Penguins have two home games left before the deadline. They play the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (3 p.m. ET: NBC, NHL.TV) then face the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Heinz Field on Feb. 25 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV).

Video: WPG@PIT: Fleury robs Scheifele with a great kick save

Whether Fleury will play in either of those games is unknown. Fleury said "hopefully there's many more" nights like Thursday ahead of him.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan refused to speculate about Fleury's future.

"You guys are all getting ahead of yourselves when it comes to that stuff," he said. "For me, we're taking each game as it comes. We're going to play each game as it comes and that's how I look at it anyway. I thought Marc had a solid game for us [Thursday]. I thought the guys in front of him played hard."

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