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Pens' Fleury may not play until next week

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'American Coyotes' Series

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.

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (fractured left ring finger) did not play Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place, and he may not be available until late this week.

Fleury participated in the Penguins' morning practice but said he "could not do a whole lot" with his glove hand. He was injured Thursday in a win at Edmonton when a puck caught his glove awkwardly during a second-period save.

Goalie John Curry made his third career start for the Penguins against the Canucks, who started two-time Vezina Trophy runner-up Roberto Luongo.

Curry was recalled from the AHL on Monday because of an undisclosed injury to Penguins backup goalie Brent Johnson, who was eligible to play last night after being placed on the injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 9.

Johnson practiced before the game and is day-to-day, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Welcome to the show

With Curry as their only available goaltending option, the Penguins signed Russian prospect Alexander Pechurski to a one-game amateur tryout. Pechurski, 19, served as backup to Curry against Vancouver.

Drafted on the fifth round (150th overall) in 2008, Pechurski will return to his Western Hockey League club today. He has appeared in six contests for Tri-City, going 4-1-1 with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.

Pechurski is from the same hometown (Magnitogorsk) as center Evgeni Malkin, and he played for Russia in the Under-19 World Championships the last two seasons.

Sorry, pal

Malkin appeared to enjoy Pechurski's company during the Penguins' morning practice, but he was unwilling to serve as a translator for Pechurski, who has a limited grasp of English.

The Penguins had asked Malkin for help with Pechurski's post-practice media scrum, but he declined at the last minute, and Russian-speaking forward Ruslan Fedotenko filled in.

Pechurski, through Fedotenko, said he and Malkin have been friends for three years.

Malkin relied on Penguins employee George Birman and teammate Sergei Gonchar for translation during interviews into his second NHL season. He now speaks English during North American interviews, although Malkin prefers not to speak to reporters on game-day mornings.

Around the boards

Defenseman Brooks Orpik (undisclosed injury) practiced in pads for the first time since he was injured Jan. 9 at Toronto. He is optimistic of playing Tuesday. Orpik is day-to-day. ... The Penguins will not practice today.

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