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Backup goalie hurt in Pens' loss

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009
 

TORONTO -- John Curry just might open the regular season as goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's backup after all.

Ticketed for the American Hockey League after the offseason signing of veteran goalie Brent Johnson, Curry replaced Johnson for the third period Tuesday in the Penguins' 3-2 exhibition shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Center.

Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri pulled Toronto even, 2-2, at 18:52 of the third period. Toronto won the shootout, 2-0.

Johnson stopped 14 of 15 shots, but he tweaked a knee midway through the second period on a collision with Toronto center Tyler Bozak. It occurred after Johnson stopped Bozak's shot, the rebound of which was stuffed into an open net by Maple Leafs winger Viktor Stahlberg.

Johnson finished the period but did not join teammates on the bench in the third.

"We will see (about Johnson's status)," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was more precautionary than anything."

Johnson is coming off hip surgery, which cut short his 2008-09 season after just 21 games for the Washington Capitals.

The Penguins opened a two-goal lead in the opening period on tallies by wingers Ryan Bayda and Chris Conner -- each trying to win a spot as an extra forward on the regular-season roster.

Star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were among the prominent players to sit out. Center Jordan Staal was in the lineup and fought Maples Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek late in the second period.

The Penguins are 1-2-1 in the exhibition season and will play at Columbus on Thursday.

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