PITTSBURGH (AP) -Marc-Andre Fleury was recalled from his minor-league rehabilitation stay on Sunday by Pittsburgh and is expected to play his first NHL game since Dec. 6 later this week as the Penguins, for now, will carry three goalies.
Fleury has been out with a high ankle sprain, the same injury that has sidelined Penguins star Sidney Crosby since Jan. 18. Crosby did not skate before the Penguins' games Saturday or Sunday and his return remains uncertain.
Fleury played well in all five starts at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, allowing seven goals. He was 3-2, with both losses occurring in 1-0 games.
``The first couple of games I was rusty but, as a couple of games went along, I felt better,'' Fleury said. ``It seems like forever since I've played in a game here and I'm looking forward to having a chance to play again.''
Fleury, the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft, still has some pain in his right ankle but said, ``I can play through it.''
Before getting hurt against Calgary, Fleury had won his last four starts and was 9-8-1 with a 2.90 goals-against average. He tied for third in the NHL with 40 victories last season.
The Penguins play their next three on the road, starting Tuesday at the New York Islanders. Ty Conklin has a 16-4-5 record as the starter with Fleury out, but Dany Sabourin (10-9-1, 2.75 goals-against average) is also expected to stay with the team.
Asked when Fleury might start, coach Michel Therrien said, ``I don't know. He hasn't practiced yet.''
Therrien said previously it can be unwieldy trying to keep three goalies sharp, but that none of his three currently deserves to be in the minors.
``We all get along very good, so I'm sure we'll find ways to adjust to it and show everybody we'll be fine,'' Fleury said.
Fleury will make an equipment change once he returns: He is discarding the bright yellow goalie pads he has worn since his rookie season in 2003-04 and will wear white pads, as Conklin and Sabourin do. During his injury layoff, Fleury was shown statistics that goalies who wear brightly colored pads tend to give up more goals than those who wear white pads.
The theory is the white pads tend to blend in with the ice, while the colored pads stand out and give shooters a better look at the goalie.
``They've been doing good,'' Fleury said of his new pads, which he broke in during his minor-league stay.
With Fleury returning, the Penguins reassigned forward Connor James to Wilkes-Barre.
Advertisement

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Caps, B's poised for ultra-competitive affair Despite minimal offensive contributions, Boston has captured three games in a row entering Wednesday’s matchup against Washington. Will Claude Julien’s club stay...
Thumbnail Montreal surprisingly mediocre on road Home ice has been very good to the Blues so far this season. But will the NHL’s top team put an end to the fun shortly?
Thumbnail Panthers vs. Bruins Prediction The Panthers have been a horrible bet against the Bruins but will they pull off the upset tonight at 7:00PM ET in Boston?
Thumbnail Detroit hopes to hold off surging Pittsburgh So far this season, nothing has been easy for the Red Wings. Add tonight’s matchup against the explosive Penguins to the list.
Thumbnail Caps trying to regain footing out East   Washington didn’t exactly end the month of November on a stirring note. But can the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner return to form against the Islanders?

NHL Team Pages