ShareThis Page
Penguins

Penguins use 5-goal blitz to spoil Fleury's emotional homecoming

Jonathan Bombulie
| Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, 9:48 p.m.

The Penguins, throughout the history of their franchise, have been known to crank up dizzying displays of offensive brilliance on a pretty regular basis.

For more than a decade, Marc-Andre Fleury was the beneficiary of it.

On Tuesday night, he was tasked with trying to stop it.

On an emotional night for the 33-year-old goaltender, he could not.

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist and the Penguins used a five-goal offensive outburst to knock off Fleury and the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins have won eight straight home games. Overall, they are 11-4-0 since Jan. 1.

"Now I get to see what the other goalies face all these years," Fleury said. "These guys, it's good to play against them, but they're very talented, very fast and they are able to create a lot of space and time for themselves to get some goals."

Meanwhile, at the other end of the ice, Matt Murray was enjoying the prodigious offensive support Fleury grew so accustomed to over the years.

"It can't be easy going against us, especially when certain guys are playing the way they are," Murray said. "To be honest, I don't really want to find out.

"It's fun to watch on this end, though, for sure. It's something that becomes normal around here. We have so many good players in this room. I say it all the time. We all feel so lucky to be a part of this team and get to watch some of these guys. They're just so special and some of the best to ever play the game. Growing up as a kid, you dream of an opportunity to play with guys like this. It's pretty cool."

Fleury made 33 saves in his first game in Pittsburgh since being selected by Vegas in last June's expansion draft. The emotions of his return were amped up about seven minutes into the first period when the Penguins paid tribute to him on the video board.

While fans gave a pulsating ovation that lasted more than a minute, Fleury removed his glove to wipe tears from his eyes.

"I was happy I had a mask on," Fleury said.

The emotional outpouring didn't hinder Fleury's game at all. Quite the contrary. He played an outstanding first period, stopping a Sidney Crosby redirect on the game's first shift and a Jake Guentzel breakaway later.

"I thought our guys did a good job," Fleury said. "They kept them away for awhile after the video. That was nice."

They didn't keep the Penguins away forever, though. An offensive outburst that included five goals in a 16-minute span began about 11 minutes into the second period.

Unexpectedly, Ryan Reaves started it, forcing a turnover on the forecheck and beating Fleury over the glove from the left wing. Reaves was never a teammate of Fleury's.

"He knows how everybody shoots," Reaves said. "He doesn't know my change-up with the eyes closed."

Ian Cole scored for the second time in as many games against Fleury and the Golden Knights. Guentzel's goal with less than two minutes left in the second gave the Penguins the lead for good.

In the first seven minutes of the third period, Malkin and Kessel combined for two goals. Malkin has nine goals in his last five games. Kessel is within one point of the league scoring lead.

Vegas scored twice late before the Penguins stiffened and held on.

"It's fun, especially when (Malkin) and Phil are tic-tac-toeing around the ice like they were," Cole said. "It's really special to watch."

The Penguins played the last two periods without forwards Tom Kuhnhackl and Carter Rowney. Both have lower-body injuries. Coach Mike Sullivan did not have updates on their condition postgame.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Penguins' Carl Hagelin in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Penguins' Carl Hagelin in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the National Anthem Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the National Anthem Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges the crowd after his highlight video was play during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges the crowd after his highlight video was play during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges the crowd after his highlight video was play during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges the crowd after his highlight video was play during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the National Anthem Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the National Anthem Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury takes a moment after his highlight video was played during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury takes a moment after his highlight video was played during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges the crowd after his highlight video was play during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges the crowd after his highlight video was play during the first break in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the National Anthem Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the National Anthem Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Penguins' defenseman Ian Cole beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for a goal in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins' defenseman Ian Cole beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for a goal in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins' Dominik Simon fights to get past the Golden Knights' Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Dominik Simon fights to get past the Golden Knights' Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins celebrate Ryan Reaves' goal against the Golden Knights in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins celebrate Ryan Reaves' goal against the Golden Knights in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Penguins' Bryan Rust in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Penguins' Bryan Rust in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights Deryk Engelland takes out the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights Deryk Engelland takes out the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Penguins' Jake Guentzel in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Penguins' Jake Guentzel in the first period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins' Dominik Simon celebrates with Ian Cole after Cole's goal against the Golden Knights int the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Dominik Simon celebrates with Ian Cole after Cole's goal against the Golden Knights int the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins' Bryan Rust jumps over the shot of Jake Guentzel that beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Bryan Rust jumps over the shot of Jake Guentzel that beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes a save again the Golden Knights in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes a save again the Golden Knights in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury skates around in the second period against the Penguins Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury skates around in the second period against the Penguins Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins' Phil Kessel celebrates his goal against Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Phil Kessel celebrates his goal against Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
A fan holds up a sign for Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
A fan holds up a sign for Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins' Phil Kessel beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the game winning goal in the third period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Phil Kessel beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the game winning goal in the third period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Penguins' Sidney Crosby watches as Jake Guentzel's shot beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins' Sidney Crosby watches as Jake Guentzel's shot beats Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stops the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin on a break away in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stops the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin on a break away in the second period Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
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.

click me