Marc Andre Fleury is Solid in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Penguins fans and management alike have to be feeling a lot better after seeing their struggling star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury register his second solid start during a 4-2 Saturday night win against the Atlanta Thrashers. Fleury, who approximately 24 hours earlier stared in a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning was once again in fine form on Saturday as he made 31 saves to earn his 150th career victory. “(The Thrashers) had a couple of great chances,” Pens coach Dan Bylsma said. “And coming back after last night’s game, you could sense you were going to get a great game from Marc.” Also breaking out for Pittsburgh was power forward Evgeni Malkin who potted his sixth career hatrick. While other people were singing his praises Malkin was just relieved to finally contribute on the power play. “This was my first power-play (goal) of the season, and I hope it’s not my last,” Malkin who now has 7 goals on the season said. “We moved the puck well tonight.” After an average at best start Malkin has really caught fire as he has now scored six goals and 12 points in his last five games. In some other impressive stats the man they call ‘Gino’ has posted nine goals and 27 points in 17 career games against the Thrashers. Meanwhile Crosby who had a goal and two assists has dominated the Thrashers to the tune of nine goals and 28 points in 19 career games. “They’re not both just talented but they’re strong,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “Malkin is a monster, Crosby is as strong on the puck as there is.” Crosby, whose Penguins have improved to 30-9-2 on the season actually had to come from behind as the Thrashers Brent Sopel scored the game’s first goal. From that point both Malkin and Crosby took over. Malkin scored the Pens first, third and fourth goal while Crosby scored the second. Showing what kind of person he is Crosby gave Malkin a lot of credit for setting up his goal. Also scoring for the Thrashers was Niclas Bergfors who at the time trimmed the Thrashers deficit to 3-2 where it stayed until Malkin notched his third into an open net. Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec was not surprisingly full of praise for the Penguins. “Those guys don’t need many chances to score goals,” Pavelec said. “They may be the best players in the NHL. It’s tough to play them for 60 minutes, but if we want to make the playoffs, we need to shut down those guys.”

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