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Notebook: Referee announces his presence

Ron MacLean, host of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, skated as a referee during the second period of last night's Penguins game. MacLean, who shares the TV booth with oustpoken analyst Don Cherry, is a certified referee in the Canadian Hockey Association and has attended the NHL officials' training camp. MacLean's presence on the ice was a huge story in Canada -- one Penguins official likened it to Bob Costas working as a referee during a Steelers game.

  • Coach Michel Therrien said defenseman Eric Cairns will miss at least the first month of the season. Cains re-injured his knee Tuesday during a training session at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

  • Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was scratched last night, but will start tonight's preseason finale against Buffalo. Fleury's goals-against average is an alarming 4.39. "It's been ... not exactly the way I wanted," Fleury said with a sigh. A decision will be made after tomorrow's game whether to demote Fleury, the first overall pick in 2003, to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

  • Therrien said there still is no timetable for Evgeni Malkin's return. Malkin, recovering from a dislocated shoulder, is working out under the supervision of team trainers.

    Digits

    20 - Total preseason games between the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres since 1970.

    15 - Number of those games that have been played at neutral sites.

    3 - Number of those games that have been played in Pittsburgh.

    - Rob Biertempfel

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