Marc-Andre Fleury has his named etched on the Stanley Cup. Now he has his name etched in the Penguins’ record books.
Fleury became the franchise’s all-time leader in shutouts with his 23rd career blanking – stopping all 23 shots sent his way by the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center.
Fleury is already the team’s all-time winningest goaltender with 241 wins. Now Fleury owns both major goaltending records.
|Marc-Andre Fleury |
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now,” Fleury said. “I’m definitely happy to get it.”
Fleury has come close to setting the record on several occasions this season, but was thwarted by late goals in the final minutes of play. He was relieved to finally break through for the record.
“I was just trying to stop the next shot and go from there,” Fleury said. “The guys were playing great in front.”
Fleury was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Penguins to lead the franchise from obscurity to prominence. He’s lived up to those high expectations, winning the team a championship in 2009 and now owning the record books.
Fleury recorded his first career shutout Oct. 30 at Chicago, making 20 saves against the Blackhawks, as an 18-year-old rookie netminder.
“That was a tough game (against the Blackhawks), but a great feeling to get that there,” Fleury said.
Fleury wasn’t tested much by the Rangers Saturday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center. But he made the saves, all the saves, he needed to make. As the third period was winding down, Fleury started thinking about a 0.
“I was trying to not jinx it, I was touching wood,” he said.
Fleury had to make one final scramble save with just 48.9 seconds left in the game. The fans began to chant “Fleury! Fleury!” and he flashed his wide-toothed grin once the clock hit 0:00 with a 0 under the Rangers score.
“With the exception of that one puck from a bad angle late in the third, it felt like we were going to get the shutout, the 23 and franchise record,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.