The 24-year-old goalie, yanked from Saturday's 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the second period after yielding five goals on 21 shots, stood before a large media contingent and stressed his desire to get right back at it for Game 6 at Mellon Arena on Tuesday.
There's only so much Fleury could have done, particularly in the second when the Wings were given five power plays and scored on three. When Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma decided his goalie had finally had enough -- after Henrik Zetterberg gave the Wings a 5-0 lead with 4:20 left in the period -- backup Mathieu Garon came in to turn away the remaining eight shots.
"A loss is a loss, it doesn't really matter what the score is," Fleury said. "There's really nothing you can do about it right now. They played well and they put their chances in. I thought we had a pretty good start, but we did run into penalty trouble and it's tough against a team like this. They have a good power play and got some goals off it -- they took advantage."
Fleury shook his head when asked if he thought he played well despite the score.
"Obviously, we lost 5-0, so I can't be too happy," Fleury said. "But I'm looking forward to Game 6. It'll be good to get back home."
"A loss is a loss, it doesn't really matter what the score is. There's really nothing you can do about it right now. They played well and they put their chances in."
-- Marc-Andre Fleury
-- Marc-Andre Fleury
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had words of encouragement for Fleury after Bylsma opted to pull his starter, following him as he left the ice and headed down the runway back to the locker room.
"I told him not to worry about it," Crosby said. "A goalie is going to be upset in that situation and that's just the competitor in him. The reality is he didn't get a lot of help either, and there's nothing to be mad about. We need him to bounce back the next game and we need to be at our best. But we know Marc-Andre will bounce back."
Fleury obviously appreciated the support from his captain.
"He just told me to forget about it, and I will," Fleury said. "I'll move on and put it in the back of my mind and get ready for the next one. Really, that's all you can do."
Pens defenseman Rob Scuderi is confident Fleury will overcome Saturday's setback. Fleury entered Game 5 with a 2.60 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in 21 playoff games.
"He'll be fine," Scuderi said. "It's not his first tough game of the entire season and he's bounced back for us the entire year, so I have no doubt his mindset will be fine."
Contact Mike Morreale at firstname.lastname@example.org.