With both Marc-Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson out of the lineup, John Curry got his first NHL start of the season. Let’s just say he did NOT make the most of the opportunity.
Curry allowed five goals on only 14 shots as the Canucks spanked the Pens 6-2 late Saturday night. Sorry if you stayed up late for this one – the game was pretty much over just four minutes into the second when Willie Mitchell made it 5-1 and mercifully ended Curry’s night.
To give you an update, Fleury’s out with a broken ring finger on his left hand. He suffered the injury when he stopped a shot in the second period of Thursday’s game in Edmonton. Thankfully, MAF is not expected to be out long. Johnson has been on the shelf for a couple of games with a lower body injury. It is not known when he’ll return.
At least Pens fans got to enjoy the NHL debut of 19-year-old Alexander Pechurski, who was called up from his junior team on an emergency basis and signed a one-day amateur contract. The fifth-round draft pick stopped 12 of 13 shots after replacing Curry and was amazingly named third star. In one of the weirdest moments in recent Pens’ history, Pechurski acquitted himself quite well – despite not knowing a word of English and being forced to wear a set of Fleury’s pads.
Granted, the Canucks did get a lot of lucky bounces in this one. But I thought the play of the game was Alexandre Burrows’ short-handed breakaway with 1:23 left in the first. If Curry can make that save, it’s most likely 1-1 at the break. He didn’t, the Canucks got a ton of momentum and proceeded to score three times in the first 3:56 of the second. Curry also allowed a horrible bad-angle goal in the first that tied the game at 1.
The only – and I do mean only – good thing to come out of this one was Evgeni Malkin scoring his first goal in 12 games. Ruslan Fedotenko set it up, giving him his first road point in 20 games this season (What?!?). Matt Cooke, who I think has played very well this season, scored in the second.