Brent Johnson already had 14 career shutouts to his credit, so losing one really wasn't a big deal.
After all, it's not every day a goalie gets a chance to land a haymaker.
Johnson knocked out the Islanders with his spectacular play between the pipes and then personally knocked out New York goalie Rick DiPietro in the final seconds of the Penguins' 3-0 victory at Consol Energy Center. Johnson won't get credit for the shutout because he was ejected, but he'll be on highlight reels forever, which isn't a bad tradeoff.
"It was like a video game or something," Penguins forward Mike Rupp said. "It was funny watching Johnny go down there and how confident he was."
In the final seconds, with the Penguins ahead 3-0, DiPietro stuck his blocker in Matt Cooke's direction while Cooke was skating past him.
This started the fisticuffs.
"I tried to avoid him," Cooke said. "He completely hit me. It caught me off guard."
Everyone was caught off guard when, a moment later, Johnson briskly skated toward New York territory, removed his helmet, and confronted DiPietro. Both goalies had their masks removed when Johnson landed a left hand to the side of DiPietro's face that knocked down the oft-injured former first round pick, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
DiPietro had a large welt on his face following the game.
"Johnny did a great job," Cooke said. "I had no idea what was going on."
Marc-Andre Fleury played the final 16 seconds and was thrilled with Johnson's fight.
"Johnny was sick," he said. "He's a righty, first of all, and he goes in as a lefty. That was awesome. He was so calm, so relaxed. It was just, BOOM! His expression never changed. It was just BOOM, and that was it."
Dan Bylsma praised Johnson's work in net but didn't sound like he wanted his goaltenders becoming regulars when it comes to dropping the gloves.
Penguins, Johnson knock out Islanders
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Feb 3