Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury talked a brave game Wednesday night only minutes after giving up a late tying goal and then the winning overtime goal in a crushing 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. By allowing those killer goals, not to mention blowing a 3-0 first-period lead, the Penguins wasted a chance to take a 3-1 lead in the series and all but eliminate Columbus. Instead, they come home for Game 5 Saturday night tied, 2-2, with all the pressure on their shoulders. On Fleury's shoulders, really. "You put it behind you and move on and get ready for the next one," Fleury said. "It's 2-2. We're all right. Go home and relax and get ready for the next one." Fleury's body language told a much different story. By Saturday night, he might be just fine, raring to go. But it was clear looking at him alone at his locker after his media scrum -- half his face buried in his T-shirt and his hands -- that it's going to be a rough couple of days. "I do," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said, simply, when asked if he expects Fleury to play a strong game Saturday night and be good the rest of the series. Bylsma's job and Fleury's future with the Penguins might depend on it. The sad part for all in the Penguins' room is that Fleury played really well Wednesday night before the late meltdown. He had been superb the entire series. "It was good," he said of Game 4. "They had 40 shots and two goals ... " Then, in the blink of an eye, the Blue Jackets had two more goals. One of the reasons Tom Barrasso is the best goaltender in Penguins history was his ability to handle the puck. He was like having a third defenseman on the ice. He could get the puck to one of the team's forwards or even clear the zone with one flick of his goaltender's stick.
Pressure in series now shifts to Penguins' Fleury
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Apr 24