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Tomas Vokoun played very well in Games 5 and 6.
As expected, the Penguins' goaltending has been hot and cold. Marc-Andre Fleury got off to a great start with a shutout in Game 1. After that, he went on to give up 14 goals in the next three games—two of which were losses.
Of course, part of Fleury’s problem was the defense in front of him. Game 2 was an ugly game defensively. The Penguins allowed the Islanders to put 42 shots on their netminder—four of which went in. Fleury’s .905 save percentage kept the game close when his defense didn’t do him any favors.
However, consistency was still an issue. After Fleury surrendered six goals on 24 shots in Game 4, head coach Dan Bylsma opted to start Tomas Vokoun in Game 5. He made 31 saves in Game 5 to earn the Penguins their second shutout of the series.
Vokoun’s performance in Game 5 was enough to earn him the start in Game 6. He faced 38 shots in almost 68 minutes of hockey and was beaten by only three of them.
In years past, the Penguins have lived and died by Fleury’s performance. When he was hot, so were the Penguins, and when he was cold…well, you get it.
It’s a different situation this year. Bylsma has an elite talent backing up Fleury and has shown he has no problem giving him the nod over the 2009 Stanley Cup netminder. That should be a major X-factor for the Penguins as they gear up to face a Senators team boasting elite goaltending talent in Craig Anderson.
Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Stay up to date with him by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter.