Tomas Vokoun is excited — and, yes, a little nervous — to be making his first playoff appearance since 2007.
Pittsburgh’s 36-year-old backup goalie will start Game 5 tonight at home versus the Islanders; he’ll replace Marc-Andre Fleury, who struggled in Game 4’s 6-4 loss that evened the series at two games apiece.
“For me, I’m going to enjoy it,” Vokoun said Thursday morning, per NHL.com. “I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get the chance to play again in playoffs. It’s nice to have the chance. You play hockey to be in this moment. You don’t play hockey to go for morning skate, take shots and do that.
“Everybody is nervous; you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t. But I’ve played long enough and been through a lot, and hopefully that will pull me through.”
The pressure is squarely on the Penguins — one of the Stanley Cup favorites — to beat the underdog Isles tonight. If they lose, they face the prospect of a first-round elimination game on the road, and in a very hostile environment.