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Fleury almost gets in 'little scrap' with Canadiens' goalie

| Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 9:45 a.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is held back by referee Kyle Rehman from Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj in the third period on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
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Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has a laugh with referee Kyle Rehman after trying to fight Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is held back by referee Kyle Rehman from Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj in the third period on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj are held back from fighting in the third period Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury tries to elude referee Kyle Rehman to get to Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj in the third period on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Consol Energy Center. Both goalies were penalized for leaving the crease.
Getty Images
Referees restrain goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins and Peter Budaj of the Canadiens from fighting in the third period on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.

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.

“Just a little scrap,” Fleury said.

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.”

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