Fleury flounders, but usually rebounds
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had been pulled from one Stanley Cup playoff game — his first in 2007 — before Dan Bylsma took over as coach prior to the 2009 postseason.
Bylsma pulled Fleury for a third time in the past 21 playoff games Saturday during an 8-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center in Game 5 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. Fleury made 10 saves and allowed four goals in 14 minutes, 29 seconds.
Fleury, though, has a history of playing his best after looking his worst.
He allowed just four goals in two previous playoff starts that followed an early exit. The Penguins won both games: 4-3 in Game 2 of a first-round series at Ottawa in 2007 and 2-1 at Mellon Arena in Game 6 of the 2009 Cup Final.
Bylsma pulled Fleury from Game 7 of the Penguins' Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Montreal Canadiens last postseason. The Penguins lost, 5-2, and Fleury was not allowed a chance for redemption.
In all, Fleury is 14-7 following a playoff loss and has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of those contests.
Accuracy, if not accurate
The Lightning had been stymied by Fleury before Game 5, scoring eight times on 110 shots.
Coach Guy Boucher said the difference yesterday was "we shot the puck."
"The last few games we didn't," he said. "We were waiting for a better play all the time. We got back to our identity, which is getting shots on net and rebounds. When you get guys around the net, it will pay off."
Actually, the Lightning finished with 25 shots — two off their average through Games 1-4.
Not the worst
The Lightning have outscored the Penguins, 13-3, in their two victories this series. That's the Penguins' highest combined margin of defeat in their first two losses of a series since dropping Games 1 and 2 of a 1982 preliminary round to the New York Islanders by a combined 15-3 tally.
Game 1 of that 1982 series represented the Penguins' worst margin for defeat in playoff history, as the Islanders won, 8-1, at Nassau Coliseum.
The Penguins' margin for defeat yesterday was their worst at home in the postseason. They had lost by five goals at home three times: 5-0 to the Devils in 2001, 7-2 to the Capitals in 1992 and 8-3 to the Bruins in 1980.
Locals lead Team USA
Former Pittsburgh Hornets prospects J.T. Miller and John Gibson have helped Team USA land a spot in the World Under-18 championship game against Sweden in Germany.
Miller, a forward, scored and recorded two assists in a 5-4 win over Team Canada. Gibson, a goaltender, stopped 38 of 42 shots.
Miller (Moon) and Gibson (Whitehall) are projected to be selected at the 2011 NHL entry draft in Minnesota in June, along with forwards Vince Trocheck (Pittsburgh) and Brandon Saad (Gibsonia).
Around the boards
The 209th consecutive home sellout was also the largest to watch an NHL game at Consol Energy Center, with 18,535 filling the first-year arena. ... In addition to winning its first Game 5 on the road, the Lightning forced a Game 6 when trailing in a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history.
Pens vs. Lightning Game 6 4/23⁄2011
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2 at the Consol Energy Center, Saturday, April 23, 2011.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- Penguins alumni rally to help Mitch Wilson, who is fighting ALS
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability