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Penguins goalie Fleury fine after tough loss

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Thursday, March 29, 2012
 

Despite taking quite a beating against the Islanders Tuesday, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury practiced Wednesday and will be available for Thursday night's rematch in Long Island. Fleury took a shot to the jaw, was knocked over once and had his mask dislodged in a collision with defenseman Paul Martin on Tuesday.

The Penguins maintained he was pulled from the game because of an uncharacteristically poor performance, not health reasons. This was confirmed when Fleury practiced Wednesday.

"It's good," he said. "Couple of good hits. We're lucky. We play with good helmets."

Fleury isn't certainly whether he will play against the Islanders, but he will play either Thursday night or Friday in Buffalo. He will likely play in just one of those two games.

"There was no injury," he said. "No lingering effects. Just a tough game."

> > Goalie Brent Johnson, out for a month with a knee injury, might be dressed Thursday night in New York. Johnson practiced again Wednesday and said he is essentially 100 percent.

"Possibly," he said about dressing Thursday night. "I'm starting to feel really good. There are a few kinks to work out."

Johnson would prefer to get one start before the playoffs begin.

"It is important," he said. "If I don't, I don't. But if there's an opportunity, I'd love to get one in."

> > Defenseman Kris Letang will not make the road trip to New York and Buffalo. The earliest he could return to action is Sunday against the Flyers. Letang is out with a lower-body injury. He was present at practice but did not skate.

> > Defenseman Matt Niskanen (lower-body injury) and center Joe Vitale (shoulder injury) skated Wednesday but aren't likely to play on the upcoming road trip.

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