Flower Power: Fleury thriving in familiar spot for Penguins

With presumptive Vezina Trophy victor Sergei Bobrovsky staring at Fleury from the other end of the ice, it was reasonable to predict the Penguins would be at a significant goaltending disadvantage in the series.

"Staying sharp is huge".

"We just played one of the top teams in the League in the first round". "We're still down. We're still crawling back into this".

For the Penguins, it's hard to imagine the break lulling them into a sense of comfort. But the Rangers were a little over.500 at Madison Square Garden at 21-16-4 and need to win Game 4 in order to even the series heading to Montreal for Game 5 on Thursday. The Pens would go on to win, 5-2. "You've got to be good defensively and that's something we'll work on but we've got some time off here to do that and we'll be better". Chief among those areas of improvement that Sullivan has in mind is getting into the offensive zone quicker and handling the forecheck better.

"I wanted them - some guys with limited playoff experience, some of them with none - just to try to enjoy a win", Tortorella said.

He would reveal the answer as Brian Dumoulin on the ice for the most scoring chances for of any Penguins defenseman. The defense got off to a hot start in the first two games of the series, keeping Marc-Andre Fleury clean in front of his net and subsequently allowing just two goals. Quincey had not played in the first three games.

"You obviously want to limit shots, without a doubt".

"It's important (to close it out) but you're not thinking, 'Oh, we have to do this, '" center Kyle Turris said. It sounds like it makes him great fit for the Blue Jackets and much easier to like. Columbus certainly made a lot of progress this season and given the relative youth of the squad, there's every reason to believe the Blue Jackets are capable of further improvements going forward. But it's huge for us to get momentum.

So, instead, the hope for those Eastern teams wishing to make their way deep into the playoffs is that the Penguins have a tougher time in the opening round than it appeared they were going to after three games. To panic and add an expensive superstar who doesn't fit with the team as constructed would also be a mistake. Sidney Crosby and Scott Wilson scored for the Penguins in the third period, and Evgeni Malkin had three assists.

Solid goaltending, too, has been a plus for the Penguins. He skated with a handful of other players Thursday, and Trotz termed him "day to day". Fleury has a.933 save percentage in the playoffs. The Pens are looking as unsafe as ever and have so much depth in the offensive zone and it seems like someone else is stepping up with each passing game and if they can continue that production from guys out of their bottom six forwards they are going to be very tough to slow down across a seven game series.

It was ideal, and it was disturbing, and it was there to remind you, as this photo of then-Edmonton Oiler Taylor Hall from five years ago was, that this is expected of hockey players - all the way down to capturing every stitch for posterity.

  • Julie Sanders