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Rambler's Top100

4 ноября 1999 года.
Peter Skudra has struggled this season

It's no secret that Penguins goaltender Peter Skudra has struggled this season. Skudra is the first to admit it. 

After stopping 30 of 31 shots Saturday in a 1-1 tie at San Jose, he gave up five goals on 20 shots Tuesday in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

"I have too many ups and downs," Skudra said after practice Wednesday. "I'm disappointed about that. I don't have that consistency right now. I'm not making those big saves night after night. Good goalies in the league are able to make those saves."

As of yesterday, only one goaltender who had played at least five games this season had a lower save percentage than Skudra's mark of .865. Tampa Bay's Daren Puppa was at .853. The Penguins' team save percentage also was second-lowest in the league at .868. Washington's was .867. 

Skudra, 2-3-3 with a 3.23 goals-against average, has played the majority of the games in place of injured starter Tom Barrasso (sprained knee) and is slated to start tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

Even if Penguins coach Kevin Constantine wanted to switch goaltenders, he probably couldn't. Barrasso didn't practice yesterday and had his knee reexamined. Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who will back up Skudra, has a strained hamstring.

Skudra is anxious to test himself against an Ottawa team that went into last night's game at Washington with an Eastern Conference-leading 41 goals in 12 games.

"I'm confident in myself," Skudra said. "I know what I'm capable of. I know there's lots of goalies not able to make the saves I'm able to because of my flexibility. But right now, I have to be more consistent."

Skudra's teammates are more concerned about their defensive breakdowns than about any inconsistencies in the goaltending. The Kings had two breakaways Tuesday - one on a power play.

"It's a team sport," defenseman Peter Popovic said. "It's not Skuds or whoever is in net. That's not a problem. Peter knows how to play. He's played before. We're fine there." 

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"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года