Well, message sent and message received. The Pens started veteran net minder Thomas Vokoun tonight in place of Fleury (a game later than they should have), and the Pens finally looked like the Pens of Game 1 once again.
Fleury is the go-to-guy, but even the go-to-guy needs to clear his head every now and then. And while Fleury clears his head for the remainder of the series, Vokoun looks ready, willing an able to hold down the fort and get the Pens into the second round.
Tonight the Pens made a statement in front of Vokoun. Not the same level of statement they made in game one, but the exact same kind of statement by shutting out the Islanders and winning the game.
The Pens got goals from Kennedy (1), Murray (2), Crosby (3), and Letang (2).
Crosby’s goal was reminiscent of Mario’s goal, splitting the D on December 20, 1988 against Islanders defensemen Rich Pilon and Jeff Norton. Fitting that Crosby did the same against the Islanders to lock up game 5 of the first round this year.
Vokoun earned the right to start Game 6, turning aside 31 shots and making a plethora of big saves on the way to the win.
Game 6 is Saturday … at a time still to be determined.