It’s official: Vokoun to start Game 5 for Pens

85 Comments

After watching Marc-Andre Fleury struggle over the last three games against the Islanders, Dan Bylsma is making a change in goal.

On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh head coach announced that Tomas Vokoun will start Game 5.

“We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us,” Bylsma explained. “He’s done that for us and he’s been very good against the Islanders.”

This goaltending switch seemed likely but is still bold, especially considering the circumstances.

Fleury has been a staple in goal for the Penguins over the last seven postseasons, backstopping the team to back-to-back Stanley Cup finals appearances in 2008 and ’09, winning it all the second time around.

That said, the 28-year-old netminder has struggled in this opening-round series — 14 goals on 102 shots over the last three games — and this comes after a 2011-12 postseason where he allowed nearly five goals a game in an opening-round loss to Philly.

Vokoun, 36, has an extensive regular-season resume but not a ton of playoff experience.

He’s only twice appeared in the postseason, most recently with the Nashville Predators in 2007 (he went 1-4 with a .902 save percentage and 2.96 GAA).

But as Byslma mentioned, Vokoun has been good against the Isles this year.

In four games he posted a 3-0-0 record with a 0.90 GAA and .970 save percentage, recording one of his three shutouts on the season.

Related

Columnist: Pens must start Vokoun in Game 5

Crosby says Pens have confidence in Fleury