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Pens' goaltending rotation is taking shape

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Penguins' goaltending rotation — or lack thereof — is starting to take shape. Brad Thiessen was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday after taking part in the morning skate. Brent Johnson, following a monthlong knee problem, has returned as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup and might play Friday night in Buffalo.

Fleury, who has participated in 64 games, said he is not fatigued and would be willing to play in every game remaining in the regular season.

"I feel good now," Fleury said. "So I just go one day at a time, one game at a time. I don't think too far ahead."

Bylsma said he has confidence in Johnson and his balky knee.

"He wouldn't be backing up if he wasn't able to play," Bylsma said.

> > Islanders defenseman Dylan Reese, an Upper St. Clair native, is asserting himself as an NHL regular. Reese played in his 25th game of the season, and perhaps even more impressive is the manner in which the Islanders coaching staff is using him. Reese is receiving extended minutes while playing with New York's best defenseman, Mark Streit.

"I feel like I'm playing really good hockey, like I'm more comfortable here now," Reese said.

Reese is one of two Islanders defensemen who has a plus-minus mark that is even or better.

> > Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who wasn't expected to travel on the Penguins' two-game road trip, took part in the morning skate and an extended, on-ice workout afterward. He isn't expected to play Friday night but likely will return to the lineup soon.

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