Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Report: Game Day at Vancouver

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Quick hits from Saturday's morning skate:
- John Curry will start in net for Pittsburgh
- Alexander Pechurski, who was signed this morning, will be the backup goaltender
- Marc-Andre Fleury will not dress
- Mike Rupp will play with Sidney Crosby and Bill Guerin
- Pavol Demitra will make his debut with Vancouver



Sounds heard around the locker room:

Dan Bylsma
On Curry starting with Pechurski dressing as the backup
That is the plan tonight.
On Fleury
He needs to continue to be evaluated before he's ready to play. You saw him out there in his gear, he can take shots but it won't be tonight.
On Pechurski
He's been in North America playing at Tri-City for three weeks. He's had some success. He got a shutout in his first game and he's playing some good hockey. Obviously the level is a little bit different. We drafted him thinking we were getting a guy that was a real good draft pick, especially in the position that we drafted him. It's an opportunity for us to see him. He was fine in our skate today. Curry will go and we'll have him as a backup. We're confident that he can stop the puck if he gets in there.
On Curry being a battler
The fans aren't getting the Luongo-Fleury that they were hoping for. But they are getting a guy who has never been anything but an underdog and has never done anything but battle and keep exceeding expectations along the way. That's what they're going to see tonight. In a game where we're playing our fifth game of the road trip, I think it's good for our team to see a guy in there laying it on the line and battling every shot. I actually like the scenario in this building, fifth game of the road trip, John Curry going in to make his first start of the year. It's another chance for him to improve in his underdog position.
On Curry's career
Other players have long since quit with the scenario that John Curry has been put in, coming out of high school and college. He keeps battling. He puts his nose town. He's a great kid. He's a hard worker. He's a learner. He lays it on the line when he gets out there. That's what you see when you're around John. He's a great teammate. He's a real solid person and professional. Somehow he keeps exceeding past what everyone labeled him at one point and time. He's a guy that has played himself into being a backup/3rd goaltender in our organization. He's going to be focused and ready and he's going to be ready to battle.
On Orpik and Johnson's status
They're still day-to-day. They're both on the ice. Brooks had a full practice today. He'll get the benefit of tomorrow off and a practice on Monday. We'll still comfortable with day-to-day.

John Curry
On his pre-game routine
I'll take a nap, get a good meal in. Maybe I'll walk around a little bit, cool the nerves down. I'll take a nap, come to the rink and go through my normal routine. There will be a few extra nerves but that will hopefully help me, get me ready to play.

Alexander Pechurski
(translated by Ruslan Fedotenko)
On being nervous
He's not nervous. He's excited to be here, to be a part of the team.
On why he's not nervous
He doesn't know. He's feeling good. He's excited. It's a new step in his career. There's nothing to be nervous about right now.
On living/playing in North America
He likes it better here. He's been observing a lot of games. He said it's a lot more shots on the goalie because of the smaller rink. He likes that, being more involved. He likes that part of American hockey.

Marc-Andre Fleury
On not playing
It's disappointing. I'm a little sore. I couldn't do a lot with the glove.
Is squeezing the glove the problem
There are a few problems.
On Pechurski
He did great. I watched him practice. He was awesome. He made some nice saves. He seems like a nice kid. He'll do OK.
On Malkin helping translate for Pechurski
It's funny seeing Geno from the place he was before. Two weeks ago (laughing)

Goaltender Alexander Pechurski, signed to one-game amateur try out earlier Saturday, will be the backup tonight to John Curry as Marc-Andre Fleury will miss the contest with his finger fracture.

In lineup news from the Vancouver side, head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed right wing Pavol Demitra will make his season debut tonight against the Penguins. Demitra missed the first 47 games of the season following a shoulder injury. Last season, his first with the Canucks, Demitra picked up 53 points (20G-33A) in 69 games.


Penguins goaltender John Curry confirmed that he will start tonight in goal for Pittsburgh in their 10 p.m. contest against the Vancouver Canucks.

"It turns out I'm starting," Curry said. "I was just preparing last night and this morning. I had the same pre-game skate that I usually do. I'm ready to go."


Marc-Andre Fleury suffered a fractured finger but was on the ice for the morning skate. His status for the game is unknown.

John Curry (left) may make his first NHL start of the season. Alexander Pechurski (right) was recently signed on a one-game amateur try out and may backup Curry tonight.

Brooks Orpik (left) participated in the team's skate and is progressing with his injury. Mike Rupp (right) has been elevated to the top line with Sidney Crosby and Bill Guerin.

Former assistant coach Tom Fitzgerald has joined the team on the recent road trip. Friday was the first time that Fitzgerald has been on skates all season. He once again was on the ice for Pittsburgh at their morning skate.


The Penguins are on the ice at General Motors Place for the morning skate and here are the line combinations used by head coach Dan Bylsma:

View More