Penguins have had enough with Fleury, will start Vokoun between the pipes
If you're wondering how the Islanders have kept pace with the heavily favored Penguins, you could very well look to the team's resiliency, their vast improvement in even strength play, or Evgeni Nabokov's timely, big-time saves. You could also look, however, to the struggles of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury was solid over the course of the regular season, allowing 2.39 goals per game, good for 15th in the league. He opened up the playoffs with a shutout of the Islanders, but has since allowed 4.67 goals per game. Not only has Fleury let the puck find its way to the back of his net, but he has done so in disappointing fashion, mishandling several pucks that have trickled past the goal line. His save percentage, which was 91.6% during the regular season, has been 86.3% over the past three games.
Last offseason, the Penguins went out and signed themselves an experienced backup goalie who could step up in big moments should Fleury struggle. It appears that their roster move was a wise one, as the Penguins have announced that they will bench Fleury for Game 5 and stick Tomas Vokoun between the pipes.
Vokoun finished his first year in Pittsburgh with a record of 13-4 and a 2.45 goals against average. The statistic that is most encouraging for the Penguins, however, is that Vokoun allowed only 1.00 goal per game in three starts against the Islanders this season.
The main concern with Vokoun will be whether or not he's ready to be thrown into the fire. The 36-year-old hasn't seen the ice in over two weeks, and he boasts a poor career playoff record of 3-8.
Despite winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, Marc-Andre Fleury has struggled in the playoffs over the past few seasons. The Penguins brought in Vokoun just in case Fleury began to struggle like he has, and their hope is that the veteran can step in ready to take on the challenge. The series is headed to Pittsburgh for a pivotal Game 5 on Thursday night.