Fleury’s ‘great performance’ sets Pittsburgh franchise record

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Paul Martin called it a “great performance.”

Matt Niskanen said it was “the best I’ve seen him play.”

And according to Elias, it’s never been done before.

All of the above came after Marc-Andre Fleury’s 35-save shutout in Game 3 of Pittsburgh’s second-round series against the Rangers. The clean sheet came on the heels of another — a 22-save blanking in Game 2 — which put Fleury in the record books, becoming the first-ever Penguins netminder to record consecutive shutouts in the playoffs.

Here’s more, from the Tribune-Review:

Just like in Game 2, Fleury was forced to contend with three consecutive New York power plays early on Monday. Although the Rangers are struggling mightily on the power play, they fired 10 shots at Fleury while with the man advantage.

He stood tall.

“He was obviously our best penalty killer tonight,” Adams said.

Fleury possessed a little bit of luck, too. Right wing Martin St. Louis hit the post while on the power play, and center Mats Zuccarello hit the crossbar on a play that was ultimately reviewed before being called no call. Fleury said the post and crossbar were his “good friends” on this night.

The rest of the Penguins weren’t buying any talk about luck.

“I’ve seen it since the beginning of the season,” defenseman Kris Letang said. “I’ve just felt so comfortable with him and the way he’s been playing. He was great tonight.”

Fleury has suddenly become a very compelling story, but now it’s for good play rather than poor. While his first-round struggles against Columbus were well-documented, his ability to rebound since the biggest gaffe — the 4-3 OT loss in Game 4 — has been most impressive. Fleury’s stopped 128 of 135 shots since then, good for a .948 save percentage, and has posted a 4-1 record.

Pretty solid efforts. So solid, in fact, that they drew praise from the opposition’s head coach.

“Marc-Andre Fleury is a good goalie,” Alain Vigneault said, per the Tribune-Review. “He’s won a Stanley Cup, been to two Finals.

“He’s one of the best in the league.”