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WATCH: Penguins, Wild Honor Marc-Andre Fleury for 1000th Game, 552nd Win



Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild Tribute

ST. PAUL, Minn — It was a well-timed celebration Friday. The Minnesota Wild selected the Pittsburgh Penguins’ only visit to the Xcel Energy Center to honor Marc-Andre Fleury for recently playing his 1000th game and becoming the second all-time winningest goalie in NHL history.

Fleury spent 14 years with the Penguins organization and remains immensely popular with the team and fanbase despite being selected in the 2017 Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft (the Penguins traded a second-round pick to Vegas to ensure Fleury’s selection).

Fleury recently became the second all-time winningest goalie, notching victory No. 552, and played in his 1000th game. The teams honored the goalie known as “Flower” for both.

The arena laid out towels on seats that both showed No. 552 and 1000.

The 7 p.m. game didn’t start until 7:20 after a lengthy tribute to Fleury, which included several video tributes, including from the Penguins’ captain, Sidney Crosby, and Fleury’s small children. His eight-year-old daughter Esther provided a little more emotion when she told him the tie she got him for Christmas and that he wears to the arena does not have special powers.

“It’s not the tie that’s magical,” Estelle said. “It’s you.”

Fleury’s five-year-old son said, in a soft voice, “You’re the best.”

During warmups, all Wild players wore No. 29, and the players stayed back as Fleury led the team to the ice, creating a solo “rookie lap” as Fleury circled the ice by himself.

A prank on one of the all-time great pranksters, too.

The Minnesota executives lined the ice with a large 552 and 1000s on the ice. Fleury and the team also made a couple of public charitable contributions.

After the morning skates Friday, Crosby also presented Fleury with custom artwork honoring Fleury’s 14 time with the Penguins. Fleury won three Stanley Cups and was the first overall pick in 2003, in addition to being a fan favorite.

However, after the videos from Fleury’s family, even the goalie was a little misty.