One of the key dates on the schedule for the Penguins is their home game against the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s the only chance of the year Pittsburgh fans get to see franchise icon former goalie Marc-Andre Fleury play in Western Pennsylvania all year. This season, the event happens early, this Thursday in just the Pens’ third game of the year.
However, the schedule is also the reason that (per the Athletic $) unless you’re looking at the bench, you’re not going to see Fleury. As we pointed out recently, Vegas has quite a heavy east coast road trip that they’re in the middle of currently. Thursday will be the third game in four days for Vegas, who played today losing a 4-2 afternoon matinee game in Buffalo. Fleury gave up four goals on just 17 shots. Fleury’s also scheduled to get the start in the Stanley Cup Final rematch on Wednesday night in D.C. Vegas also played Saturday, so Thursday will be the fourth game in six days for them as well.
With all those games crammed in, Fleury won’t be playing on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Instead, it will be backup Malcolm Subban in net for the Golden Knights.
Ironically, both Fleury and his successor in Pittsburgh Matt Murray have gotten off to almost identically bad starts. MAF has a 1-2-0 record with a .841 save% and a 3.93 GAA. Murray and the Pens have struggled as well early in the season with a 1-1-0 record with a .831 save% and a 5.47 GAA. Hopefully Fleury improves on those numbers on Wednesday, and Murray as well on Thursday.
Also, since it hasn’t been mentioned in depth here (yet) — congrats to Kris Letang for setting the franchise’s point scoring total for a defenseman.
Kris Letang is now the franchise leader in points scored by a defenseman (98G-343A-441PTS). Hall-of-Fame defender Paul Coffey held this record for 27 years.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 7, 2018
Letang is rewriting the record book: https://t.co/AvJB9nmSJa pic.twitter.com/JjpugQn6g1