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Zatkoff still wants to be part of Penguins' future - 12-19-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The last time Jeff Zatkoff was promoted, it was because former goaltender Tomas Vokoun suffered a blood clot.

Earlier this week, Zatkoff earned a promotion when goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Thomas Greiss were each tested for mumps.

Suffice it to say, Zatkoff has been the beneficiary of circumstances which are bizarre compared to those typically related to dangers of playing professional hockey.

Serving as Vokoun's replacement last season, Zatkoff had a 12-6-2 record, a 2.61 goals against average, .912 save percentage and one shutout. He also earned a two-year contract extension from former general manager Ray Shero.

After a tumultuous summer for the Penguins which saw new general manager Jim Rutherford bring in Greiss as a free agent, Zatkoff was assigned back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after training camp and returned to his role as the organization's No. 3 goaltender. This season, he has a 9-5-1 record with a 1.89 goals against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout.

After being called up Wednesday with Fleury and Greiss' status uncertain, Zatkoff served as Fleury's backup during Thursday's 1-0 overtime win against the Panthers. Earlier today, with Greiss being cleared to resume practicing, Zatkoff was returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Yesterday, following the team's morning skate, Zatkoff talked about being back in the NHL, being on waivers and his future with the Penguins.

What's it like to be back?

"It's fun just to see all the guys again. Kind of catch up and see how everyone's doing. Obviously, not the circumstance you want to be in when something like this is going around. Even if it's just for a little bit, [it's a chance] just to kind of catch up, see the guys and get a chance skate in front of the coaches again and compete."

There's no guarantee this will last beyond a day or two but what can you do to make the most of your time back up here?

"I think just the same thing I did all last year and beginning of this year. Just work hard in practice and be myself and bring what I can to the locker room. Just enjoy it because you don't know how long it's going to be."

You dealt with an injury earlier this season which sidelined you for several games.

"Just kind a groin strain. Just a shot to my right. It went a little bit on me. I thought it was going to be worse than it was. Nothing too serious. Fortunately, I was able to come back. It's probably been a little bit over a month now since I had that."

Beyond that, how has your season gone?

"Good. Started off I think a little slow. Just had to get mentally adjusted to it. We've got a good team. We've got great coaches down there. We've had a lot of turnover with everything that's gone on up here [with the NHL team]. It's a credit to our coaching staff down there. No matter who we've had in the lineup, we've found a way to win games. Play to a system. It's been fun. We've got a lot of young guys, just to see them develop and kind of come into their own as the season has progressed. We've found an identity and we've been able to string some wins together lately."

What was that 24-hour window like when you went on waivers prior to being assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before the season began?

"I kind of prepared for it over the summer. I'm not naive. I see the situation. It's a hard time to get claimed on waivers. I never thought I was going to get claimed. I think most teams go into camp with their two [goaltenders]. You want to give your guys a chance before you see what's going to shake out. The same thing kind of happened to me last year where they gave me that shot instead of claiming someone off waivers. I just kind of braced for it. I knew I had an idea it might be coming. Obviously still frustrating. Your goal is to be in the National Hockey League. I felt like I belonged and I competed last year. Circumstances changed. New management. Anything can happen. I just wanted to go down, be a good person, not pout and play my game. I felt like if I continued to play the way I'm capable of, that I'm going to get another shot up here somewhere whether it's [in Pittsburgh] or somewhere else."

Marc-Andre Fleury was signed to contract extension last month. Thomas Greiss is on a one-year contract. You have another year remaining on your contract beyond this season. Do you still feel you have a future here?

"I hope so. I love it here. I love all the guys. Management's great. The coaching staff has been really good to me. Obviously, this is where I want to be. I like this organization. I like this city. I have a blast being here. But you can't worry about too much. I think Marc got what he deserved. He's been great over the past two years. This year, I think he's at the top of his game. He's got to be a Vezina [Trophy] candidate right now. It's been to watch him play and kind of grow and find that next level. Hopefully, I can be a part of that in the future."

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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Fleck, Fuente ink extensions

Written by Sam Werner on .

In two moves tangentially related to the Pitt coaching search over the past few days, Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck and Memphis coach Justin Fuente both signed extensions to stay with their respective schools.
Now, what exactly does this mean for Pitt?
At face value, it seems to indicate that both Fleck and Fuente are not considered candidates, at least right now, for the Pitt job. I should note that Fuente’s buyout is just $500,000, which would not appear to be a prohibitive price for Pitt to pay if they do end up thinking he’s their guy. Fleck’s buyout was not reported.
But that being said, it’s extremely rare for a coach, even at a lower-level school, to agree to an extension and leave for a bigger job that same offseason. If Fuente and Fleck continue their respective trajectories, they’ll both likely be at Power Five schools sooner rather than later.
I also think it makes sense that Pitt, even if they kicked the tires on both guys, to go in a different directions. Both guys have a similar resume to Michael Haywood when Pitt hired him (Haywood’s off-field issues aside). They were both assistants at big-time schools (Fuente at TCU, Fleck with Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) before jumping to a low-level FBS job, struggling for a few years and having one breakout season this year. Heading into 2014, Fleck and Fuente’s combined record as a head coach was 8-28. What they did this year at places where it’s tough to win was impressive, no doubt, but both their resumes are awfully thin for now.
One other note from this morning on the Dan Mullen rumors that started swirling yesterday. I did have some people mention Mullen’s name as a guy Pitt could make a run after, which is why I mentioned him in my story from today’s P-G (which also includes some discussion of the concurrent coaching and AD searches). I talked to a source this morning, though, who said that talk is “absolute nonsense.” Mullen always seemed a bit farfetched for Pitt, as he would likely command a salary of $4 million or higher, but who would’ve thought that Gary Andersen would’ve left Wisconsin for Oregon State? It truly is the silly season.
I am still hearing that chancellor Patrick Gallagher is looking to make a big splash with this hire. Just who that is remains to be seen.

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Empty Netter Assists - 12-19-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “The way we’re playing, we’re not giving other teams too much. It’s been making my job a little easier.” - Marc-Andre Fleury (above, catching up with old teammate Maxime Talbot) on recording his career-best sixth shutout of the season.

-The Denver Post's recap. "I felt good, I felt comfortable, and we'll take the point." - Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard on his 47-save overtime loss.

-The Associated Press' recap. Christian Ehrhoff left the game after the first period due to an undisclosed injury.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Bobby Farnham versus Colorado's Cody McLeod:

-Evgeni Malkin is stretchy:

-If you're wondering what Scott Harrington looks like in an NHL jersey, here you go:

-Bright times for Fleury:

-Crosby was back doing his thing:

-Happy times for the Penguins:

-Pickard had his tower buzzed here:

-Colorado's Matt Duchene was ready for this faceoff:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Fleury speaks:

-Welcome back Sidney Crosby.

-Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin was named as an honorary captain for this season's AHL All-Star Game.

-What are Jayson Megna's chances at sticking in the NHL?

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Nick Drazenovic is expected to return to the lineup this weekend. He has been sidelined since Oct. 25 due to a "lower-body" injury.

-Former Penguins goaltender Alexander Pechurskiy was traded to Amur Khabarovsk of Russia's KHL.

-Happy 71st  birthday to former Penguins captain Ron Schock (right). Acquired in the 1969 offseason along with Craig Cameron and a draft pick in a deal which sent Lou Angotti and a draft pick to the Blues, Schock spent eight seasons with the Penguins. In 1969-70, Schock appeared in 76 games and scored 29 points. During the franchise's first postseason appearance in 1970, Schock played in 10 games and netted seven poitns. He followed that up in 1970-71 by playing in 71 games and recording 41 points. During 1971-72, Schock played in 77 games and scored 46 points. In that spring's postseason, Schock played in four games and recorded one assist. Dressing for 78 games in 1972-73, Schock compiled 49 points. Named the franchise's third captain in 1973-74, Schock played in 77 games and netted 43 points. Schock's best season was 1974-75 when he set career highs for games (80), goals (23), assists (63) and points (80). In nine games that postseason, he recorded four points. The 1975-76 campaign, Schock appeared in 80 games and scored 62 points. In the playoffs, he recorded one assist in three games. Schock's final season in Pittsburgh was 1976-77. He played in 80 games and scored 49 points.  During the postseason, he appeared in three games and netted on assist. In the 1977 offseason, he was traded to the Sabres in exchange for Brian Spencer. Schock appeared in 619 games with the Penguins, (seventh-most), scored 404 points (12th-most) and 14 shorthanded goals (second-most). Arguably the most durable player in franchise history, Schock has the second-longest consecutive games in franchise history with 313. In 29 postseason games, he scored 14 points.

-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins forward Robert Lang (right). Claimed off waivers from the Bruins early in the 1997-98 season, Lang spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1997-98 by appearing in 51 games for the Penguins and scoring 22 points. During that spring's playoffs, he appeared in six games and recorded six assists. He followed that up in 1998-99 by playing in 72 games and recording 44 points. In the 1999 postseason, he saw action in 12 games and recorded two assists. In 1999-2000, Lang played in 78 games and scored 65 points. The 2000 playoffs saw him appear in 11 games and score six points. Lang's best season was 2000-01. Playing primarily on a line with Alex Kovalev and Martin Straka, Lang set career highs for games (82), goals (32), assists (48) and points (80). During that spring's postseason, Lang appeared in 16 games and scored eight points. In 2001-02, Lang appeared in 62 games and scored 50 points. During the 2002 offseason, Lang joined the Capitals as a free agent. In 345 regular season games with the Penguins, Lang scored 261 points, 28th-most in franchise history. In 45 postseason games, he scored 19 points.

-After the Jump: Lee Stempniak was diagnosed with the mumps..

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-An overtime goal and an assist by Eric Fehr gave the Capitals a 5-4 win against the Blue Jackets. Jason Chimera and Karl Alzner each added a goal and an assist for Washington while teammates Mike Green and Michael Latta each recorded two assists. Braden Holtby made 22 saves in the victory. Nick Foligno led Columbus with two goals and an assist. The Blue Jackets had a seven-game winning streak snapped.

-Check out the placement on this wrister by Washington's Joel Ward:

-Check out this backhanded pass by Latta to set up Chimera for a goal:

-Columbus' Dalton Prout pounded the tar out of Washington's Tom Wilson:

-Foligno launched Washington's John Carlson with a hi:

-Check out the pass by Green to set up Fehr for a goal:

-Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes who beat the Maple Leafs, 4-1. Nathan Gerbe recorded two assists for Carolina while teammate Cam Ward made 25 saves.

 

-Check out this feed by Dwyer to set up Faulk for a goal:

 

-Toronto's David Clarkson fended off Dwyer for this puck:

-The Hurricanes dealt defenseman Jay Harrison to the Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2015. Harrison, 32, is om the second year of a three-year contract with a salary cap hit of $1.5 million. In 30 games this season, Harrison has scored four points (one goal, three assists).

-EN Says: The Jets' defense has been ravaged by injuries as of late. They add Harrison, a big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), stay-at-home defenseman who has a history with head coach Paul Maurice. For the Hurricanes, Harrison's lack of speed didn't fit well with how new coach Bill Peters wants his team to play. They shed some salary and get back an asset.

-Rangers forward and former Penguin Lee Stempniak is the latest NHLer to be diagnosed with the mumps.

-The Devils recalled forward Tim Sestito from Albany of the AHL, assigned defenseman Adam Larsson to Albany on a conditioning assignment and placed forward Danius Zubrus (leg lacerations) and defenseman Damon Severson (left ankle) on injured reserve. Severson is expected to be sidelined four to five weeks.

-Islanders defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic are each expected to return to the lineup tonight after being sidelined due to "upper-body" injuries.

-Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for seven games.

Atlantic Division

-Shootout goals by Brandon Pirri and Dave Bolland gave the Panthers a 2-1 win against the Flyers. Roberto Luongo made 25 saves for Florida.

-Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty left last night's game against the Ducks in the third period and was hospitalized after he suffered an "upper-body" injury when he hit awkwardly into the boards by Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner. The play in question:

 

-Prior to the game, the Canadiens paid tribute to former captain/forward Saku Koivu:

 

-The Canadiens assigned forward Sven Andrighetto to Hamilton of the AHL.

-Maple Leafs forward Brandon Kozun cleared waivers and was assigned to Toronto of the AHL.

-Lightning forward Tyler Johnson is sidelined due to an illness.

-The Senators will loan forward Curtis Lazar to Hockey Canada for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.

Central Division

-Colorado's Brad Stuart became the 100th defenseman to appear in his in in his 1,000th career game.

-Jets defenseman Mark Stuart is sidelined due to a "lower-body" injury. Additionally, defenseman Jacob Trouba was placed on injured reserve due to an "undisclosed" injury.

-The Wild assigned former Penguins goaltender John Curry and forward Brett Sutter to Iowa of the AHL.

-The Predators placed forward Viktor Stalberg on waivers.

-The Blues placed forward Jaden Schwartz (foot) on injured reserve and recalled forward Dmitrij Jaskin from Chicago of the AHL.

-Former Oilers forward Ben Eager has joined the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

Pacific Division

-Frederik Andersen made 23 saves for the Ducks in a 2-1 win against the Canadiens. Montreal had a three-game winning streak snapped.

-Check out this cross-ice feed by Montreal's Andrei Markov to set up David Desharnais for a goal:

-Montreal's Brandon Prust had issues with Stoner:

-A goal and four assists by Anze Kopitar led the Kings past the the Blues, 6-4. Jeff Carter netted a goal and three assists for Los Angeles while teammate Marian Gaborik added two goals and an assist.

 

-Check out the pass by Kopitar to set up Carter for a goal:

 

-Save of the Night: St. Louis' Martin Brodeur robbed Los Angeles' Justin Williams in tight:

-Check out the patience and the placement on this shot by Kings defesnseman and former Penguin Jake Muzzin:

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Brodeur lost a puck in his gear:

-Fluky Goal of the Night: Los Angeles' Dwight King scored on a crazy hop from the neutral zone:

-Kings defenseman and former Penguins prospect Jake Muzzin had to fend off St. Louis' Maxim Lapierre:

-St. Louis' Kevin Shattenkirk and Los Angeles' Justin Williams had issues:

-Happy times for the Kings. Not so much for Brodeur:

-Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr left the game due to an undisclosed injury.

-Barclay Goodow had a goal and an assist for the Sharks in a 4-3 defeat of the Oilers. Melker Karlsson recorded two assists for San Jose while teammate Antti Niemi made 25 saves. David Perron recorded two assists for Edmonton.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this nasty little wrister by San Jose's Logan Couture:

-With the Oilers ending their affiliation agreement, the Oklahoma Barons of the AHL will fold after this season.

-With goaltender Kari Ramo dealing with an illness, the Flames turned to Lesley Reddon, a 44-year-old former member of the Canadien national women’s team, for practice.

Smythe Division

-How has Russia's financial crisis impacted foreigners playing in the KHL?

(Photos: Gerry Broome/Associated Press, Harry How/Getty Images, Daniel Kubus/Getty Images, Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press, Jeff Roberson/Associated Press, Matt Slocum/Associated Press, Ian Tomlinson/Allsport/Getty Images, Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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Avalanche at Penguins - 12-19-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

-For a game with 13 former first-round picks on the ice, including quite a few No. one, two and three overall picks, there' weren't a tone offensive fireworks. Sure, there were lots and lots of shots but only one goal. That was scored by Blake Comeau and gave the Penguins a 1-0 win against the Avalanche tonight.

-In essence, this game came down to the one first overall pick in this game who doesn't have much to do with his team's offense and as well as a former No. 49 overall pick. This was a staring contest between Marc-Andre Fleury and Calvin Pickard.

-Each goaltender was fantastic. One could argue Pickard was even better given that he saw 48 shots. Either way, the Penguins got another dazzling performance from their franchise goaltender who recorded his league-leading sixth shutout of the season.

-Christian Ehrhoff left the game after the first period due to an undisclosed injury. Head coach Mike Johnston said he would be evaluated in the morning.

-Comeau scored his 11th goal of the season and his third game-winning goal of the season. What a find this guy has been. He scored 24 goals with the Islanders in 2010-11 but that seemed like a lifetime ago. After bouncing around with the Flames and Blue Jackets, he seemed like he was destined to be a ho-hum bottom six forward when the Penguins signed him this past summer. With so many injuries/illnesses up front, Comeau has stepped in and replaced a lot of offense. Yes, playing with Evgeni Malkin is a big help but he's not just a passenger on this line. He's scoring some big goals at big times. At $700,000, he's a bargain value.

-Again, Comeau now has 11 goals this season. In the previous three seasons with the Flames and Blue Jackets, he had 11 combined.

-Sidney Crosby looked fine in his first game back. Not spectacular by any means but okay. Keep in mind, he wasn't playing to the level of his considerable standards before he got the mumps. Within that context, he seemed okay tonight. Johnston suggested Crosby played too many minutes in tonight's game but said it was necessary given the talent on the other side of the puck. He seemed to hint Crosby would have a day off tomorrow.

-The Penguins' lines were different from this morning skate. Tonight, the primary lines were:

Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Evgeni Malkin - Brandon Sutter - Blake Comeau
Rob Klinkhammer - Marcel Goc - Steve Downie
Bobby Farnham - Craig Adams - Bryan Rust

-Rust got a shift or two with Crosby and Hornqvist and showed off some nice speed and hands. Beyond that, he was mostly relegated to bottom six duties. While health is a factor, we would like to see him get a few more chances with either Crosby or Malkin. He isn't intimated by playing with either of those two.

Johnston lauded Rust for helping create the overtime goal:

 

Tonight in overtime, I put him out there. I thought he really helped create that goal. He made the hit in the corner, kept the puck alive in the zone, made the change. [Evgeni Malkin] got on and [Malkin] and then [Blake Comeau] got the
goal together. We have some confidence in him as a player. It started with his development but it's also … he just seems to be a guy who now he's got the opportunity, some guys relish the opportunity and take advantage of it. And he's
doing that now and he just doesn't seem to be nervous.”

 

-Rust managed to get six shots in just 8:52 of ice time.

-Scott Harrington made his NHL debut and saw some elevated minutes with Ehrhoff's injury. He spoke on the game:

 

On playing his first NHL game:

“It was fun. It was quick. It as a little bit nerves in the first period there. It was a quick game against a good team. Each shift, I felt a little bit better and a little bit more comfortable. By the end of the … I guess by maybe the second half of the game it started to feel more like the practices here and I got used to the pace a little bit more. It was a lot of fun. Guys really helped me out a lot there on the ice and it was good.“

What changed with his defensive partner, Christian Ehrhoff, leaving after one period:

“I don't think it really changed much for me because I never really played with any of the guys. So it's not like it was a chemistry issue. Maybe for some of the other guys but it seems like the [defensemen] rotate within the pairings quite often due to injuries and stuff like that. It was a little more ice maybe but like I said, it was good the guys really helped me out. They talk a lot out there and tried to make life easy out there.“

 

-Harrington had 13:33 of ice time on 22 shifts, including one shift on the power play totaling 37 seconds. He had one shot and was credited with two blocked shots.

-Harrington's parents were able to drive down from Kingston, Ont. to take in the game.

-Bobby Farnham is going to Bobby Farnham. He picked a fight with Cody McLeod in the second period. McLeod, no shrinking violet, didn't seem to know what to expect from Farnham and as a result, McLeod mostly played defense until Farnham slipped and fell on a stray stick. McLeod took advantage of Farnham falling again later in the fight and sort of threw an uppercut as Farnham kneeled on the ice.

-We were willing to give him a few games to get back into the swing of things, but Hornqvist has been rather quiet since he came back to the lineup after being knocked in the head a few weeks ago.

Getting back to Pickard, he was outstanding. And this performance wasn't a fluke. He's probably been the Avalanche's best player most of the season. With all-star goaltender Semyon Varlamov in and out of the lineup due to a recurring groin injury, Pickard has stepped in and played very well. He has been responsible for much of the limited success the Avalanche has experienced this season.

-With the exception of Nathan MacKinnon, most of the Avalanche's stars were pretty quiet tonight.

-The Penguins led in shots on net, 48-29.

-The Penguins led in attempted shots, 60-51.

-Malkin, Hornqvist, Rust, Sutter and MacKinnon each led the game with six shots.

-Downie and Ehrhoff, who only logged 9:03 of ice time due to his injury, were the only Penguins' skaters who failed to record a shot tonight.

-Kris Letang led the game with 28:24 of ice time.

-Erik Johnson led the Avalanche with 24:26 of ice time.

-The Avalanche led in faceoffs, 32-29 (52 percent).

-Marc-Andre Cliche was 9 for 13 (69 percent).

-Crosby was 13 for 22 (59 percent).

-Letang led the game with four blocked shots.

-Johnston led the Avalanche with three blocked shots.

-Fleury recorded his sixth shutout of the season. Only Tom Barrasso (1997-98) recorded more in a single season for the Penguins.

-Wow. This was only the second shutout by the Penguins ever against the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise. Ken Wregget made 38 saves at home against Quebec, Jan. 27, 1994.

-Last Penguins' shutout against a Colorado team saw Gary Edwards make 28 saves in a 6-0 road win against the Rockies, March 21, 1982.

-The Penguins won 1-0 in the overtime period for the first time since Nov. 17, 2001. A Jan Hrdina goal from Billy Tibbetts at 4:41 of overtime lifted Pittsburgh over the Rangers 1-0 at Mellon Arena. Johan Hedberg stopped all 26 shots to earn the victory.

-Some sites. The ice:

-Fans entering the barn:

-Ron Francis and Kevin Stevens were accounted for:

-As was Joe Mullen:

-Beau Bennett Wilkes-Barre/Scranton:

-Jaromir Jagr:

-There were a ton of Avalanche fans here tonight. Other than the Blackhawks, this might have been the most visiting fans from a current Western Conference team we've seen in the history of Consol Energy Center:

-MacKinnon:

-Joe Sakic:

-Ray Bourque:

-Patrick Roy:

-The always Rob Blake/Bill Guerin combination:

-Gabriel Landeskog:

-Matt Duchene:

-Peter Forsberg:

-Clark Griswold:

-There are far too many of these. Larry Murphy:

-This is sharp. Shawn McEachern:

(That usher is all business.)

-Former Penguins/Current Avalanche left right winger Jarome Iginla:

-Jersey of the Night. You score a Stanley Cup-winning goal, you get jersey of the night. Maxime Talbot:

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

 

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Crosby a game-time decision - 12-18-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins center Sidney Crosby could to the lineup for tonight's home game against the Avalanche after missing three games due to the mumps. He centered the team's first line with Evgeni Malkin on the left wing and Patric Hornqvist on the right wing at today's morning skate.

“It's been a boring week, that's for sure” the Penguins' captain - pictured above with how he looked Friday on the left and today on the right - said. “After you miss a week, whether you're injured a different way, you don't skate for a week, you don't feel that great.”

“I wouldn't say I feel great but I'm also happy to be back here.”

Crosby spoke with media following the team's morning skate at Consol Energy Center for the first time since he displayed swelling on the right side of his face after a morning skate prior to Friday's 3-1 home win against the Flames. An image of a video from the team's Web site went viral – pardon the pun – on social media.

“When I saw that picture, that wasn't what I looked like before I went on the ice,” Crosby's said. “It's just one of those things, we were well aware of it everyone did the right things to make sure me and everyone else is protected as you can be. It's just something, sometimes you can't do anything about it. People get sick.”

Crosby dealt with an infected gland in his neck after having his throat grabbed by an opponent during a 3-2 road win against the Hurricanes Nov. 29. He suggested that ailment helped create confusion with regards to his mumps diagnosis.

"To be honest with you, my situation is probably the wrong one to try to analyze because I had a previous thing that happened a few weeks before that that I was dealing with a for at least 10 days to two weeks basically in the same area [of the face] that the mumps affects,” Crosby said. “Of course, it was kind of the perfect situation. Our staff was well aware of it. They've done a great job. We've had all our blood tests run before that. All my tests were negative. The fact that I had that incident before that, really kind of threw everyone off because the tests were negative.”

(Images: Team video)

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