1. FIRST GAME
OCTOBER 10, 2003 vs. LOS ANGELES
Fleury’s debut is one that would be especially hard to forget. He was just an 18-year-old kid, having been drafted first overall by Pittsburgh – who traded up to get him – just a few months earlier. The day before the game, Fleury joked to the Tribune-Review that he would “try to count sheeps” if he couldn’t sleep that night due to nerves.
Right before puck drop, Fleury led his team out onto the ice wearing bright yellow pads, glove and blocker and skated into the crease to defend the Penguins net for the first of a few hundred times and counting. He allowed a goal on his first shot when Eric Belanger converted a shorthanded breakaway just 38 seconds into the game. It was a tough start for the teenager, but Fleury shook it off and went on to stop 46 of 48 shots – including a penalty shot by Esa Pirnes with 2:20 left in regulation – en route to being named the game’s No. 1 star in the 3-0 Penguins loss. The standing-room only crowd of 16,986 witnessing the No. 1-overall pick in action for the first time showered the teenager with chants of "FLEURY! FLEURY!"2. FIRST WIN
OCTOBER 18, 2003 vs. DETROIT
Fleury would have to defeat a formidable opponent in the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings in order to get his first career victory. Their roster boasted Hall of Famers Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, Nicklas Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, Steve Yzerman, Dominik Hasek along with current stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. “They have some big names, superstars,” Fleury told the Tribune-Review before the game. “I think I will try not to think about them, because they can be intimidating."
Fleury's mental preparation worked as he made 31 saves, Rico Fata had two goals and an assist and Ryan Malone had two assists in a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. The Pens had found themselves down 3-1 midway through the second, but battled back to get their first win of the season and hand the Red Wings their first loss. 3. GAME 7 OF THE 2009 EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
MAY 13, 2009 at WASHINGTON
The Pens had the chance to close out their second-round series against Washington in Game 6, but Fleury didn’t have his best night as he allowed five goals in an overtime loss to the Capitals.
Fleury rebounded with a vengeance in Game 7, robbing prolific goal scorer Alex Ovechkin on a breakaway just three minutes into a scoreless game.
Ovechkin sped around defenseman Rob Scuderi and blazed in all alone on Fleury. Ovechkin tried to deke to his forehand, but Fleury stayed with him and whipped his glove up to snatch the puck out of midair while falling back. Crosby opened the scoring just minutes later and the Pens didn’t look back en route to a 6-2 win and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals. While there were plenty of highlights from the series-clincing win, Fleury's teammates considered his save on the two-time NHL goal scoring champion the key moment in the game.
4. GAME 7 OF THE 2009 STANLEY CUP FINAL
JUNE 12, 2009 at DETROIT
JOE LOUIS ARENA
This game may have been 60 minutes, but for most people, it all comes down to the final second.
The Pens and Red Wings lined up for a faceoff in the Pens defensive zone with a few seconds left and Pittsburgh holding a 2-1 lead. The Pens lost the draw and while Fleury was able to get a pad on Henrik Zetterberg's initial shot, the rebound popped right to six-time Norris Trophy winner Nick Lidstrom – who was all alone in the left faceoff circle. With one second left on the clock, Fleury frantically slid across the crease and threw his entire body at Lidstrom’s shot, keeping it from going into the net and ensuring the Penguins would win their first Stanley Cup since 1992.5. FRANCHISE-RECORD 227TH WIN
JANUARY 19, 2013 at PHILADELPHIA
WELLS FARGO CENTER
After the Flyers eliminated the Penguins from the 2012 playoffs, the two teams met in the next season’s opener on Jan. 19. Fleury admitted to some anxiety going into the game, as he hadn’t played a game in nine months due to the lockout and was coming off an uncharacteristic performance in that series against Philly.
But Fleury was able to shake the nerves off and open his ninth season in a Penguins uniform by becoming the winningest goalie in franchise history. He made 26 saves on 27 shots to earn his 227th win as a Penguin, passing Tom Barrasso to take sole possession of first place on Pittsburgh’s all-time wins list. "That’s awesome for him and it says a lot about how successful he’s been, since he’s gotten here," captain Sidney Crosby said after the game. "He gives us a chance to win every night and we're really happy that he got that, especially here. We had a tough series here last year, so to come back in this building and help us get a big win, we’re all really happy for him."