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Bylsma: Fleury worthy of award consideration

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By Don Brennan
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

• In Dan Bylsma's mind, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is a candidate for some hardware at the end of the season. Bylsma figures Fleury has a shot at both the Vezina (best goalie) and Hart (MVP) trophies. "I don't think it can be overlooked that he should be in consideration for both those trophies," Bylsma said. "He's been the backbone of our team. There's been a lot of injuries. We haven't had a full lineup, I think, but two games this year. He's been a major reason why we've been a competitive team and a good team and a good defensive team. He's been outstanding. I don't think without his season, we're in the position we are, to be within three points of Philadelphia for top spot in the East."

• Fleury currently carries the league's fifth highest number of wins (31) and 10th best goals against average (2.35)

• The Penguins recalled a pair of 27-year-old defensemen, Corey Potter and Steve Wagner, from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton but only needed to use one Potter, as Kris Letang's upper body problem didn't keep him from work. Matt Niskanen missed his second game due to illness. "We need one player to get to the compliment of six," said Bylsma after the morning skate. "(Five) was good for one game, but we'll go with six tonight." Potter, who signed with the Penguins as a free agent in the summer, was playing his first game for the team and just his ninth in the NHL. In 62 games with Wilkes-Barre Scranton, he has 27 points and a team-leading plus-24 rating

• Bylsma says the Penguins are still thinking about winning the division. They entered the night just three points behind the first-place Flyers. "It has been a spoken thing amongst our group," Bylsma said. "It has been that for about the last 12-15 games. We put ourselves in a position right now and still think we can get to Philadelphia. We have two games with them coming up later this month. We'd like those games to be real meaningful when we get there."

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