Penguins notebook: Fleury awaits word on when he’ll vie for 300th victory
• Would Penguins coach Mike Johnston really pass on a chance to get goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury win No. 300 and instead play him on the road on the second leg of back-to-back games? It’s highly doubtful, but when presented with the chance, Johnston didn’t proclaim Fleury the starter for Friday’s game against the Islanders at Consol Energy Center, saying only that, “We will split the weekend with our goaltenders.” Fleury will soon become the 31st goalie in NHL history to win 300 career games and the fourth to do it before his 30th birthday. The win would be Fleury 12th of the season. He’s 11-3 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. “I’m not going to make a big deal out of it,” Fleury said. “I’m proud. I’m happy. I think it’s pretty cool. But it’s two points in the standings, and that’s what matters.”
• Johnston said playing the Islanders in back-to-back games will serve as a playoff preview of sorts. The Penguins have twice played back-to-backs. Both sets, however, featured different teams on each night. “You have a chance to prepare for a team, play a game and react to how you’ve played and what you need to do the next day,” Johnston said. “You know they’re going to react, and they’re going to have some things that they’re going to adjust in their game plan. I look forward to these two-game series that we have because it does give us a chance in the busy schedule that we have to see simulate playoff action.”
• With Pascal Dupuis sidelined, forward Beau Bennett will replace him on the second power-play unit. The Penguins were on the man-advantage Tuesday for one penalty and scored 28 seconds in, which gave little indication what the second unit would look like. Bennett will join linemates Steve Downie and Brandon Sutter and defenseman Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff.