Penguins' Fleury optimistic about fast return
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury practiced with a special glove Thursday morning at Mellon Arena, but he missed a third straight game last night against the Washington Capitals because of a fractured left ring finger.
Fleury remains day-to-day, though he is optimistic of playing Sunday at Philadelphia. He was injured Jan. 14 at Edmonton when a shot caught his glove awkwardly.
His new glove consists of increased padding to protect the injured finger.
» The Penguins promoted forwards Nick Johnson and Dustin Jeffrey from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Johnson appeared in his first NHL game against the Capitals. The moves were necessary because of injuries to forwards Max Talbot (undisclosed/lower body) and Pascal Dupuis (cut above his eye). Talbot and Dupuis were each injured Tuesday in a home win against the New York Islanders.
» United States' World Junior hero John Carlson dressed for the Capitals, who played without star offensive defenseman Mike Green (undisclosed injury).
» The Penguins' game Feb. 7 at Washington will be broadcast nationally by NBC and its affiliates, with a special start time of noon. NHL teams are permitted to play only four NBC games in a season; NBC is slated to broadcast the Penguins at Philadelphia (12:30 p.m. Sunday) and Penguins-Red Wings at (12:30 p.m. Jan. 31).
» The Penguins and their fans raised $34,618 for Haiti earthquake relief. Fans donated $17,309 as they entered Mellon Arena before last night's game. The Penguins immediately matched the contribution from their fans.
» December winners of the Highmark High School Hockey Players of the Month were: Alex Mueller (Hampton); David Kutzer (Derry); Matthew Schmidlin (Baldwin); and Bryan Watt (Pine-Richland). Winners are selected four times throughout the season.
» The Penguins Wives Association will hold its annual "Pens & Pins" bowling tournament today at Crafton-Ingram Lanes. The event benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia. All tickets have been sold for the event.