the Pens lost Gibbons with just 9:40 left in the period (after just 2:26 of ice time) after it appeared he suffered an injury throwing a hit on Jackets forward Ryan Johansen behind Columbus’ net. Gibbons went down the runway to the locker room right after and did not return.
As is typical with playoff hockey, there was no update on his status after the game.
Fleury had another stellar regular season. He won 39 games which mark the fifth straight full season he has won 30-plus. He posted a 2.37 GAA and .915 SV% along the way, but now is where he needs to prove himself. Over the last four playoffs (09-13), Fleury has gone 14-16 with a 3.18 GAA and .880 SV%. However, the Penguins draw a great first round matchup, which should help build Fleury's confidence.
Malkin was on the ice for the morning skate taking line rushes with Jussi Jokinen and James Neal. His participation in the morning skate suggests that he will be good to go tonight in game 1 vs. the Blue Jackets.
Zatkoff allowed four goals on 20 shots in a loss to the Wild on March 5th. He will start the season finale after Marc-Andre Fleury started last night. Despite losing his last two outings, he is 12-6-1 with a 2.66 GAA and .911 SV% in his first NHL season. Should Fleury falter in the playoffs like he has in the last few seasons, Zatkoff will be the guy the Pens lean on.
Fleury allowed three goals on 37 shots in a 4-3 shootout win over the Red Wings on Wednesday. He has won three in a row and five of his last six. In that six game stretch he has posted a 2.11 GAA and .929 SV%, but the part of the season that haunts him is almost upon us.
Kunitz had an excused absence from practice, he is not injured.
Updating an earlier report: Kunitz was on the ice for the start of practice, but left early. It has been confirmed that it was prearranged and that he is fine. Pens' head coach Dan Bylsma hinted that he won't rest players on Saturday, so look for Kunitz to be in the lineup.
The Penguins have sent Adam Payerl back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL).
Payerl, 23, played in two games with Pittsburgh, including his NHL debut on April 6 at Colorado when he collected three shots and four hits in 9:33 minutes. Payerl has nine points (3G / 6A) in 38 games with WBS this year.