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Fleury takes lead role

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been a starter in the NHL for 12 years. So he knows how to prepare himself to handle a heavy workload during the season.

That being the case, Fleury's mindset won't change much with the revelation that crease-mate Matt Murray will be out for 3-6 weeks with a broken hand

Fleury, who has appeared in at least 58 games a season on eight occasions, will be shouldering the workload to the start the year. Which is how he was preparing himself anyway, so Murray's injury won't change his approach.

"No, it's the same for me. I've been doing this for a few years," Fleury said. "It's just about trying to get back into my rhythm, find my comfort level and get the timing back. I'll use the scrimmage and preseason games to do it and get ready for the regular season."

The Pens are fortunate to have two No. 1 goaltenders on their roster. Fleury, 31, has the pedigree of one of the NHL's best goaltenders. Over his career he led the Pens to a Stanley Cup title, while making three All-Star appearances en route to becoming the franchise's winningest goaltender.

Although the injury to Murray may seem like it's thrust Fleury back into a lead role, it's really just business as usually for the Sorel, Quebec and the team.

"It's not something I really think about," Fleury said of being the undisputed go-to guy. "It's unfortunate for Matty. You never wish another goalie or anybody else on the team to get hurt."

Fleury will have a bit of rust to knock off. Other than his one postseason appearance in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay, he hasn't seen regular action since March.

And even though Fleury still practiced with the Pens throughout their entire championship run, he, like the rest of the team, had a few months off to let his body rest and recover.

So Fleury is approaching this season, as with all seasons, as a fresh start.

"When you have two or three months without playing it still feels like you're starting from scratch to get game rhythm and game timing-wise," Fleury said.

 

 

 

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