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Penguins stick with Vokoun as Game 3 starter

by Arpon Basu /

BOSTON -- Two days of speculation and debate about who would start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins (NBCSN, CBC, RDS) turned out to be for nothing.

Tomas Vokoun started for the Penguins, as he has in every game for the past month.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma generally does not discuss his lineups with the media, but he did confirm beforehand Vokoun would be in goal for a 10th straight game.

"We're looking for a solid game from our goaltender," Bylsma said. "We've gotten that from Tomas in virtually every game he's played, a real solid performance. He's done that for us, and that's what we need [Wednesday] night. We don't need perfection. We're looking for a solid game in between the pipes and for our goaltender to allow our team to win a hockey game."

Vokoun was pulled at 16:31 of the first period in a 6-1 Game 2 loss after allowing three goals on 12 shots, though Bylsma suggested after the game that none of the goals could be considered the goalie's fault. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed the first shot he saw to beat him, 25 seconds after teammate Brandon Sutter had scored to cut Boston's lead to 3-1.

It was Fleury's first game action since May 7, and he finished with 14 saves on 17 shots.

The Penguins did not do much to help either goaltender in Game 2, with the first and second goals coming off bad turnovers, and the third and fifth goals coming on backdoor one-timers that left the goalie with no chance of stopping it.

"We didn't play well in front of our goalie," said defenseman Kris Letang, who committed the turnover that led to Boston's second goal. "Our goalies are not to blame for this."

Vokoun had a 2.26 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in nine starts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, though his numbers through two games of this series against the Bruins were a 4.70 GAA and .857 save percentage. Fleury's numbers in five playoff appearances were a 3.51 GAA and .883 save percentage.

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