FLEURY TO START IN GOAL THURSDAY WHEN PENGUINS WELCOME FLYERS
The Pittsburgh Penguins open the 2006-07 season on Thursday.
And, Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal when the Philadelphia Flyers visit Mellon Arena at 7:30 p.m.
"He is going to be our starting goalie. We have a lot of confidence in that kid, even if during the training camp he was not quite sharp," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.
"The last week, he was really solid. He played a solid game in Buffalo. We could tell during practice that he is focused and his confidence seems to be there. He is going to be our opening-night goalie."
FSN Pittsburgh will televise the contest at 7:30 p.m., while 105.9 The X will start its radio broadcast with a pregame show at 7 p.m. The broadcast may be found live through streaming audio on pittsburghpenguins.com as well. Tune in for Penguins Hotline following every game on 105.9 The X and the Penguins Radio Network. Join in the conversation with host Bob Grove by calling the Penn Telecom toll-free line at 1-866-922-2874.
Fleury, only 21, was battling goaltenders Jocelyn Thibault and Dany Sabourin for time during training camp. He made the most of his last preseason start Saturday in Buffalo, where he stopped 25 of 28 shots in a defeat.
"He's a young goalie. We have a lot of faith in him," Therrien said. "We have to show him our faith, as long as he is performing. He did perform well in the last game. I am confident he is going to have a solid game."
Thibault and Sabourin remain on the Penguins roster, giving the team three netminders.
"Everything could change. Today that's the way it is; maybe tomorrow it will be different. We'll see," Therrien said. "We'll go one day at a time."
Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin continues to rehab a shoulder injury sustained Sept. 20 during a game in Moncton, New Brunswick. Malkin skated at the end of the Penguins' practice Monday, but no timetable has been set for his return to the lineup.
"He's feeling better. It's a matter now of getting back in shape," Therrien said. "His shoulder has to get stronger and it will. We're going to be really cautious regarding his injury."
Tickets still remain for Thursday's game as well as Saturday's game at Mellon Arena vs. Detroit. For tickets call 1-800-642-PENS or 412-642-PENS or visit pittsburghpenguins.com.