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Game 1 Notebook: Rough start for Fleury

Pens' goalie trips out of gate; drops 4-0 loss in Game 1

Saturday, 05.24.2008 / 10:54 PM / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Game 1 Notebook: Rough start for Fleury
Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had his helmet knock off during a first-period collision in Game 1 on Saturday.
DETROIT – Think players get nervous before big games?

That certainly seemed the case for Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who tripped as he led the Penguins onto the ice prior to the start of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday. He seemed to snag his right pad against the entrance gate before tumbling to the ice.

But the worst for Fleury was saved for later when the Red Wings hung a 4-0 loss on the four-year veteran.

CBC analysis Don Cherry lamented Fleury a little bit on Coach’s Corner during the first intermission.

“Do you think he’s excited?” Cherry asked as Fleury’s incident was replayed. “He’s a kid, this is not to make fun of him, this is the way I like goalies to come out.  … Look at the guys laughing, never been in this rink so …”

The guys laughing were a pair of ice crew members, who had perfect seats to see the Pens’ goalie take a header out of the gate.

“Me and my buddy were kneeling down and all of a sudden Fluery comes running out,” said Alec Thieda, a senior, who attends Notre Dame Prep High in Pontiac, Mich. “His pad catches the corner of the boards and he just eats it.

“I’ve never seen something that funny in my life. I’ve gotten 25 phone calls already. I’ve never been that close to something like that, it’s awesome.”

LUCKY PENS: It could be said that the entire state of Pennsylvania is feeling lucky about the Stanley Cup finals.

For the two days leading up to Saturday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, the winning numbers of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s Big 4 drawing came up with a jersey number combination of Penguins’ star centers Sidney Crosby (87) and Evgeni Malkin (71).

On Thursday, the Big 4 Day drawing was 7187, while Friday’s Big 4 Evening winning number was 8771.

Thursday’s pot was worth $86,400 split between 225 players, meaning  each won $384, which would be enough to buy two standing room only tickets when the finals comes to Pittsburgh on May 28 at $125, each. Friday’s evening pot was $196,000 shared by 520 players.

After Saturday's 4-0 loss, the lottery numbers should have been 4117 -- representing the four combined shots by the Pens' stars; the one hit between them; and 17 combined face offs that they lost.

CHERRY-ISMS: During his famous Coach’s Corner first intermission segment on CBC’s broadcast, Cherry also opined about Niklas Kronwall’s tenacity, the Red Wings’ first-period disallowed goal, and Gary Robert’s absence from Game 1.

About Kronwall’s hit on Pens defenseman Ryan Malone during a first-period power play, Cherry said, “This is a power play, Malone never dreamed that he would stand up and hit him. Who would ever think a guy would stand up and hit on a power play like that? He’s not even looking because nobody does that accept Kronwall.”

Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal disallowed when Tomas Holmstrom was whistled for interfering with Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fluery. Cherry was adamant that referees are basing calls on Holmstrom’s reputation.

“I don’t know weather he had anything to do with it, but here’s why he did it,” Cherry said of the penalty on Holmstrom. “Watch, they got their eye on him from past sins. They’re just waiting for him, he’s in the crease, they’re ready for him, and that’s exactly what happens, he’s paying for past sins.”

Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and Pens forward Gary Roberts were both healthy scratches from Game 1. The pair played against each other in the Cup finals 19 years ago.

“I know Gary Roberts, I know for a fact he’s seething right now because he’s not in there,” Cherry said. “They did the right thing, that a winning combination, I’ve always said that … they’re doing the right thing, you never break up a winning combination. Now if it was Crosby, I don’t know.”
 
Derek Gluth and Kevin Fitzhenry contributed to this report.

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