The Pittsburgh Penguins lost a road game to the surging Boston Bruins on Thursday night 5-1. Goaltender Ty Conklin gave up 3-goals on just 13-shots before being replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury at 2:21 of the 2nd period. Fleury, who made several good stops went on to save 16-of-18 shots thrown at him. New acquisitions Marian Hossa, Pascal Dupuis and Hal Gill all played, but Hossa left the ice in the 2nd period after a knee-on-knee collision with Glen Murray and did not return. Initial reports indicate that Hossa’s injury will keep him out of the lineup about a week.
Boston’s Marco Sturm scored the first 2-goals of the game and picked up his 200th NHL goal. Zdeno Chara, P.J. Axelsson and David Krejci also scored for Boston, which has back-to-back victories over two of the top three teams in the East. Ty Conklin gave up 3-goals on 13-shots after posting a career high 50-saves against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. Marc-Andre Fleury was called in relief, making it the first game he has played for the Penguins since leaving the ice on December 6 with the high ankle sprain. The lone goal for the Penguins came late in the 3rd period from newcomer Pascal Dupuis. Jeff Taffe and Tyler Kennedy were credited with the assists.
Marian Hossa had completed just 13-shifts when the injury occurred. “It was an accidental hit, knee-on-knee,” said Hossa, who could miss about a week. “This is disappointing. I was trying to get comfortable with my linemates. But injuries happen, and this is the tough luck of the business we’re in.”
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The regulation loss was the first for the Penguins in 7-games. They completed February with an impressive 8-3-3 record and recorded 19-of-28 possible points (67.9%), much better than expected with Captain Sidney Crosby out of the lineup. The surge can be largely credited to the play of Evgeni Malkin and Ty Conklin. Although Malkin only scored points in 1 of his last 4 games, he scored 26-points (9G, 17A) in the 14-games during the month of February to take over the NHL scoring lead. Ty Conklin went 6-2-3 in February and his 0.930 save percentage leads the league.
The Penguins travel to Ottawa next for a matinee against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon, and then back to Pittsburgh for a Sunday matinee against the Atlanta Thrashers.