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Goalie Vokoun gets nod for Penguins against Flyers

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Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun makes a third period save on the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom at Verizon Center Feb. 3, 2013.

By Josh Yohe

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 1:39 p.m.

The Penguins have been off the past two days and starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is on a hot streak. With the Philadelphia Flyers visiting, starting Fleury on Wednesday night seemed almost inevitable.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, though, will send Tomas Vokoun into action Wednesday night.

Vokoun hasn't played in 10 days.

Since then, Fleury is 3-0 with a 2.00 GAA.

“I'd say we're a little bit off the script at this particular time for various reasons,” Bylsma said. “Marc has been playing a lot, and playing well. He maybe got one more game in the rotation because of that.”

Still, the Penguins have been pleased with Vokoun and remain committed to keeping Fleury fresh. Fleury has started six of the past eight games.

“Tomas hasn't played in a while,” Bylsma said. “I wanted him to play against Philly at some point this season.”

Fleury, of course, saw enough of the Flyers during the first round of last season's Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins permitted 30 goals in those six games.

Vokoun was watching.

“It was just a tough kind of series,” Vokoun said. “It was unbelievable for fans; not so great for goalies and coaches. That's in the past. I don't think it has any bearing on what's going to happen today.”

Vokoun noticed that the Penguins struggled to keep their cool at times last season against the Flyers and believes they have learned their lesson.

In the season opener, the Penguin won in Philadelphia, 2-1.

“You go through different seasons,” Vokoun said. “You either learn or you don't. If this team has learned anything, its learned that you can't play that way. Whether you hate a guy or not, you've got to play smart. If you don't play smart, you're not going to give yourself the best chance to win.”

The Penguins are banking on Vokoun giving them a good chance to win. In his career, Vokoun is 8-9-3 against the Flyers with a 2.74 GAA. He is 3-2 in five starts for the Penguins this season.

Although the Flyers boast some of hockey's most gifted offensive players, they are outside the Eastern Conference playoff field.

“I just want to help us get a win any way I can,” Vokoun said. “I've been in the east for five or six years now. I'm pretty familiar with Philly and what they can do.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @joshyohe_trib.

 

 

 
 


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