Columnist: Pens must start Vokoun in Game 5

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After another shaky performance on Tuesday — allowing six goals on 24 shots — Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is once again under fire for suspect postseason play.

And one area columnist thinks it’s time for a change.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is calling for a switch in goal for Thursday’s Game 5, saying that Tomas Vokoun must be the starter.

Here’s more, from the Trib:

Look, I’m a Fleury backer. Have been for the longest time. Even in the context of this series, until this game, I’ve felt the Penguins’ problems were far more rooted in their stupidity and sloppiness.

But 14 goals on 102 shots over the past three games?

And — sit down for this — 40 goals in his past 10 playoff games?

If Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma already haven’t made up their minds on Vokoun for Game 5, they’d better be on the path to doing so.

This, remember, is precisely why Shero wisely invested a two-year, $4 million contract in Vokoun. Yes, it was to reduce the regular-season workload that many blamed for Fleury’s Philly flop last spring. But it also was for playoff insurance, to have a Plan B.

Fleury was despondent after the Isles lit him up in Game 4, spending several minutes with his head in his hands before fielding reporters’ questions in the dressing room.

“I’m not happy, that’s for sure,” Fleury said. “It’s frustrating.”

Kovacevic also noted that Pens head coach Dan Bylsma — who usually strays from talking about lineup choices — gave a full answer when discussing the possibility of switching out Fleury for Vokoun.

“Certainly, Tomas Vokoun is a guy that can step in and play and has had success and won hockey games against this team, was successful this year,” Bylsma said.

“We’re going to come out for Game 5 with a refocus.”

It should be noted that, despite this, Bylsma refused to say who his starter would be on Thursday.