Six periods of shutout hockey is one way to counter a narrative about how a goaltender sucks. To be fair to the haters of Marc-Andre Fleury, the narrative wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t given them a reason to create it. However, outside of one mishap behind the net in the Columbus series, the Penguins are where they are today because of Fleury.
Another Penguin star who has gotten his fair share of criticism during the playoffs is Sidney Crosby. He had gone 14 playoff games without scoring a goal but that ended tonight. Shortly after killing a double minor high sticking penalty that James Neal took, Robert Bortuzzo found Crosby on a long stretch pass and he was able to put the puck between the five hole of Henrick Lundqvist.
Lundqvist was hung out to dry for a second time in the second period. After killing a holding penalty on Jussi Jokinen, the puck squirted out to the neutral zone just as Jokinen was leaving the box. He gathered the puck and scored on a breakaway to give the Pens the two goal advantage.
Fleury was once again outstanding. He stopped all 35 shots that he saw and assisted in killing five Rangers power plays.
Three shutouts in a row is almost impossible but it has to be done. I have one wish for this series and it is that I don’t have to hear the Rangers goal song at any point. A shutout in game four is necessary for this to happen. Make me proud, Flower.