Fleury almost gets in 'little scrap' with Canadiens' goalie
The smile on Marc-Andre Fleury's face rarely disappears.
It remained, even as the goaltender came within a final deke around referee Kyle Rehman from fighting for the first time in his NHL career.
It was almost much more.
Following a Brandon Prust punch to the face of defenseman Brooks Orpik late in the third period of the Penguins' 5-1 victory against Montreal, a melee ensued and involved the goaltenders. Montreal's Peter Budaj, playing in place of the pulled Carey Price, skated to the Canadiens blue line during an altercation that took place by the Penguins net.
Fleury, noticing that Budaj was approaching, motioned toward his fellow netminder and then skated toward him. Rehman, likely mindful that a goaltender fight in Philadelphia earlier this season showered the NHL with embarrassment, quickly skated toward Fleury to diffuse the situation. However, Fleury skated around the referee and nearly reached Budaj before Rehman and another official were able to snuff the incident.
“I know how much he wanted to fight him,” defenseman Kris Letang said of Fleury. “It would have made the fans happy. But there's always a risk of injury.”
Fleury's teammates seemed quite amused by the altercation, many of them failing to hide their grins while the goaltender was swarmed by the media moments following the victory.
“I think he's been waiting for that chance for a while,” Letang said. “It was fun to see his teeth in the back of his mask.”
It was better than seeing his teeth on the ice.
Fleury, incidentally, was informed following the game that Budaj is trained in martial arts.
His tone, for just a moment, turned serious.
“Wow,” Fleury said. “Really? Are you serious? If I had known that, I would have left my mask on.”