Marc-Andre Fleury’s miserly goaltending sparks Pittsburgh Penguins’ Game 2 win

WASHINGTON — The Pittsburgh Penguins’ preference to ready for a worst-case unfolding has put them in a best probable position for a run during a second uninterrupted Stanley Cup title.

General manager Jim Rutherford was demure to trade Fleury this deteriorate given he wanted a viable Plan B if final year’s goaltending favourite Matt Murray was injured.

That meditative seemed perceptive after Murray was harmed during a warm-up before a initial diversion of a playoffs. Fleury stepped in to turn a many vicious figure in a team’s query to be a initial NHL group given 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to win back-to-back championships.

“He’s been a best player,” Penguins manager Mike Sullivan said.

Fleury is a primary reason since a Penguins will enter Monday’s Game 3 in Pittsburgh with a 2-0 lead over a Washington Capitals in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal

“He’s a good competitor,” Sullivan said. “He’s a good teammate and he’s risen to a challenge.”

On Saturday, he done 34 saves in a 6-2 win to give him 67 saves in a initial dual games of a series. He owns a .944 save commission opposite a Capitals and a .937 save commission in a Penguins’ initial 7 playoff games.

This is a man who mislaid his starter’s pursuit to Matt Murray final deteriorate after portion as a franchise’s No. 1 goalie for some-more than a decade. He helped a Penguins win a Stanley Cup in 2009, yet he was examination from a dais when Murray took a Penguins to a championship final season.

The expectancy is that subsequent deteriorate Fleury, 33, will be in Las Vegas, or Dallas, or Calgary or Vancouver, or somewhere else. Just not in Pittsburgh. Murray is younger and reduction expensive.

But Fleury is not fueled by anger. He’s fueled by personal honour and a enterprise to assistance his guys. He has prolonged been a favorite in a Penguins’ sauce room.

“It’s fun,” Fleury said. “It’s good to win. I’m unequivocally enjoying this time right now. we don’t try to overthink stuff.”

It doesn’t need complicated meditative to interpretation that a Penguins are winning a array given Fleury is doing a complicated lifting. The Capitals dominated a Penguins in a initial duration of Game 2 and Fleury was flawless, interlude all 16 shots he faced. The Penguins were being outshot 19-5 when they scored their initial goal.

“That’s what they do,” Washington manager Barry Trotz said. “They are a discerning strike team.”

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What creates Fleury’s exploits some-more profitable is that Washington’s No 1 goalie Braden Holtby isn’t during his best. He was pulled after dual periods in Game 2. He has given adult 6 goals on 35 shots in a series.

“We only had to change a mojo,” Trotz said. “He will tell we that he can be better.”

Holtby has play crook or a Capitals’ chances of entrance behind in this array are minimal. Even yet a Penguins have scored 9 goals in a initial dual games, it still has a feel of a goaltender array given Fleury’s ability to outduel Holtby has been a vicious member of their success.

Trotz was asked either he believed a Penguins had detected Holtby’s vulnerabilities. He discharged that theory, observant that his group has complicated films of Fleury as well. “There are no secrets,” he said.

Philipp Grubauer played a third duration in idea for a Caps in Game 2. Trotz pronounced he hasn’t given any suspicion to that goalie he will use Game 3.

It is expected to be Holtby. He’s a Vezina Trophy candidate. He’s one of their stars.

“He wasn’t as pointy as he can be for us,” Trotz pronounced “He’s a game-changer for us. When he didn’t change a game, we looked to change a Mojo a small bit  Braden’s a guy. He has been all year. We have to find some goals for him to. We only can’t put it on Braden Holtby.”

Follow Kevin Allen on Twitter @ByKevinAllen.

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