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Penguins Report: Odd Couple Reunion

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby knows Colby Armstrong better than most players on the Penguins roster. The two need no introduction having been teammates, linemates and even roommates during the past few seasons.

“He’s a great guy,” Crosby said. “I had a lot of fun playing with him when he was here. We won’t be friends on the ice but away from that we keep in touch.”

On the ice, the two will play against each other for the first time when Atlanta hosts the Penguins at Philips Arena on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

“I played with Army for a long time,” Crosby said. “He knows what I do. I know what he does. It’s not going to change anything.”

Despite Armstrong’s departure, the two remain close and have stayed in touch from time to time.

“We talk once in a while,” Crosby said. “If you ask him, he’ll say that I don’t return his phone calls.”

So Armstrong shouldn’t hold his breathe on Wednesday night – when the Penguins are scheduled to arrive in Atlanta – waiting for Crosby to return his calls.

“I’ll give him a call back and see what he’s up to,” Crosby said.

With all the time the two spent together, Armstrong is bound to have some dirt on Crosby. There’s a chance that he will use that inside information to get Crosby off of his game. Though if he does, Crosby doesn’t feel like it will make a difference.

“I haven’t taken him serious in three years, what makes him think that I would start now,” Crosby joked. “He can say anything. It wouldn’t even come close to working. I would be laughing inside.”

Then it must be safe to assume that Crosby won’t retaliate to any of Armstrong’s antics.

“I wouldn’t even give him the benefit of saying anything back,” Crosby joshed. “I wouldn’t even give him the satisfaction.”



> Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury missed his third straight day of practice on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. He’s still listed as day-to-day and will be out of Pittsburgh’s game on Thursday night in Atlanta.

However, his status for Saturday’s game against Vancouver is still up in the air.

“We don’t know yet,” head coach Michel Therrien of Fleury's status for Saturday.

> Despite falling to the Wild on Tuesday, the Penguins have won three of their five shootouts this season. Even though it may seem that the shootout participants reuse the same maneuver on occasions, Therrien said it’s difficult for a coach to interfere with their approach.

“It’s tough for a coach,” he said. “It’s really personal. We work with them on the shootout every week. The record has been pretty good. When you get to the shootout, players have to feel comfortable with how they’re going to react.”

Crosby appreciates his coach’s trust and feels that the responsibility ultimately falls on the player.

“You appreciate it but that’s the way it should be,” Crosby said. “I think you have to leave it up to the shooter. He’s the guy that has to live with scoring or not scoring. If a coach trusts a player to go out there, trusts his instincts in the shootout, then let him do what he’s going to do. That’s what makes guys who are creative, creative and go out there and try some things.”

> Jordan Staal is known more for his goal scoring than fisticuffs. However, Staal also proved that he won’t back down from a fight when he dropped the gloves with Minnesota’s Erik Reitz.

“I got high stick-ed earlier in the shift,” he said. “It’s a part of the game. I kind of got a little angry so I decided to let my anger out I guess.”

Staal won't replace Eric Godard's role as Pittsburgh's tough guy. But he did hold his own, landing a number of early shots in the bout before both men fell to the ice.

“It wasn’t a very long fight but I got a few shots in,” Staal said. “It feels good to get one under my belt this year.”

> He said it: Pascal Dupuis on whether Pittsburgh or Atlanta looks better in the powder blue uniforms

“I’ll bet on ours.”

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