The debate that raged through the night about the Penguins' goaltending situation was cleared up in a swift opening sentence Wednesday from coach Dan Bylsma: Tomas Vokoun will start Game 5 of the playoff series Thursday night against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center instead of Marc-Andre Fleury. "We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us and be a goaltender we can count on to go in and play big games," Bylsma said of the veteran goaltender. "He's done that this year for us and been very good against the Islanders in the three games he's played against the Islanders." The Islanders pulled even at 2-2 in this Eastern Conference opening-round series Tuesday night with a 6-4 win at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Fleury, who has started every Penguins playoff game since 2007, gave up shaky goals in that loss, including a tying goal that was centered from behind the red line but went off his pad and the clincher late in the third that left him curled in his own net banging his stick against his head in a visible moment of frustration. It marked the 14th goal he has given up this series, on 128 shots, for a 3.40 goals-against average per game. A year ago Fleury surrendered 26 goals in six games against Philadelphia in the opening-round series defeat. Then-backup goalie Brent Johnson, plagued by a hip injury and inconsistency in the 2011-12 season, provided little relief, playing only one period in that series. Vokoun, acquired from Washington in the offseason, has been a more than capable backup this year with a 13-4 record and 2.45 goals-against average. His numbers against the Islanders are more impressive. He's 3-0 with a 0.90 goals-against average, .970 save percentage and one shutout among the wins. "We're getting a guy who's real capable, a guy going in and being a great goalie for us," Bylsma said. Neither Vokoun nor Fleury were available for interviews Wednesday.
Vokoun set to start in goal tonight for Penguins
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 9