Skip to main content

Fleury stops 21 shots, Penguins blank Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Marc-Andre Fleury was flawless in the Pittsburgh Penguins' two-game swing through Alberta and set a franchise record in the process.

Fleury made 21 saves to earn his NHL-leading eighth shutout, and Sidney Crosby scored twice as part of a three-point night in a 4-0 victory against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Fleury surpassed Tom Barrasso's single-season franchise record of seven shutouts, set in 1997-98. It was the 36th shutout of Fleury's career and came two nights after he shut out the Edmonton Oilers 2-0. Fleury has gone 131:40 without allowing a goal.

"It's good," Fleury said. "He [Barrasso] was a guy that I looked up to growing up so it's fun to be able to get those.

"There are personal goals you want to achieve. I'm glad I got it, but at the same time, I want to do well as a team. I want to win and that's what is most important."

Crosby suggested the record meant more than Fleury let on.

"It should mean a lot," Crosby said. "There's some really good teams with some of the goalies that have played in Pittsburgh. How difficult it is; it's not easy and he's played for a long time. I'm definitely happy for him. He earned every bit of it tonight. He made some huge saves for us, like we've seen time and time again.

"The last 15 minutes there, you could tell that guys weren't going to take any chances and when we did kind of give up something you could tell guys were extra desperate. For a 4-0 game you don't see guys usually that desperate. That's the reason why, and it's good to see that. Guys really wanted to see him get that."

David Perron and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Penguins (30-14-8), who moved into back into first place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh will try to complete a Western Canada sweep against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

The loss concluded a 4-2-0 homestand for the Flames (29-21-3), who begin a two-game California trip against the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

Coach Bob Hartley said the young players on his team got a lesson from Crosby.

"I think, for Sean Monahan, for Josh Jooris, for Johnny Gaudreau, for all our young players … tonight we saw why Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world," Hartley said. "He put on a clinic. You don't win the Stanley Cup, you don't win gold medals and be the leader of a hockey club by luck. Tonight he was by far the best player on the ice."

Perron gave Fleury all the support he would need 5:46 into the game.

Chris Kunitz knocked down Mark Giordano's clearing attempt and Crosby poked the puck up to Perron, who beat Flames starter Jonas Hiller to the short side. It was Perron's 13th goal of the season, second in as many games and eighth in 14 games since joining the Penguins in a trade with the Oilers on Jan. 2.

Sutter made it 2-0 at 18:10. After winning a draw in Calgary's end, he went to the net and redirected Simon Despres' point shot past Hiller for his 11th of the season.

Crosby scored his first of the night at 11:58 of the second period. The Penguins made defenseman Kris Russell pay for an ill-time pinch when Kunitz fed a speeding Crosby, whose one-handed redirection found the top corner to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead.

Fleury made his best save of the period when he stopped Lance Bouma's backhand after Bouma was sent in alone by Mikael Backlund.

Crosby scored his second of the game 5:19 into the third period, taking a pass from Kunitz while splitting Giordano and TJ Brodie before lifting a shot over Hiller's blocker.

"He made some great passes," Crosby said of Kunitz, his regular left wing. "There's a pretty fine line between getting those passes through and finding the timing, too. Just great soft passes there that I was able to get my hands on. You need those passes in order to score those. Great plays by him."

That goal chased Hiller, who made 20 saves. Karri Ramo finished up.

Fleury nearly lost his shutout soon after Crosby's second goal when Gaudreau slid a pass across the top of the crease to Jiri Hudler, but Hudler fanned on his shot with a virtually empty net. He also stopped Jooris from point-blank range with 2:41 remaining.

"There's a few close calls there," Fleury said.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.