Bylsma not ready to reveal Penguins' Game 3 goalie
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he knows who he's going to start in goal for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
He's just not ready to tell the world.
Bylsma won't say whether it'll be Marc-Andre Fleury or Tomas Vokoun between the pipes for Game 3 -- even if, as suggested by a media member, doing so might improve the karma for a team that has lost two consecutive games while abiding by Bylsma's postseason policy of not discussing specific lineup or injury questions.
"That," Bylsma said with a smile, "is not going to change the karma for our team. We're going to do that in other ways."
Fleury played for the first time since May 7 in Game 2, allowing three goals on 17 shots in the final two-plus periods of a 6-1 loss. The nine-year NHL veteran who backstopped the Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup (and to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final) had started every Penguins postseason game from 2007 until Game 5 of the first-round series against the New York Islanders, when Vokoun took over and played every minute until Fleury replaced him 17 minutes into Monday's game.
Fleury was in the midst of his second consecutive subpar postseason when he was replaced, but Bylsma said his recent play isn't the only criteria he used in making his decision.
"We look at his entire body of work -- not one instance or one shot [in Game 2] that would sway what goes into how he performed or how he's going to perform in his next game," Bylsma said. "He's certainly won a lot of hockey games, had a lot of success in that net for us. He didn't have that [Monday], but that's not going to play into the decision."
Vokoun won six of his first seven Stanley Cup Playoff starts for the Penguins, but has allowed six goals in 77 minutes against the Bruins, losing twice. After Game 2, Bylsma absolved Vokoun from blame and said he removed him in an attempt to change the momentum.
"As a goalie, you're there to make a difference," Vokoun said. "I wouldn't say they were bad goals, but I didn't make the stop and didn't make the difference.
"For me it was not a matter of letting three goals in, but it was a matter of not helping the team capture momentum, not making the big save at the start of the game when we needed it to get the momentum on our side."