Folks were still buzzing about Marc-Andre Fleury's double save the morning after.
In what is sure to become a You Tube favourite, the Pittsburgh Penguins' goaltender robbed Dominic Moore and Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning in succession with 8:52 left in the first period of the Penguins' 3-0 win on Wednesday night. The win gave the Pens a 1-0 lead in their first-round NHL playoff series.
First, Fleury somehow stopped Moore's deflection and wound up on the seat of his pants in the crease with his back to Malone. The Lightning forward quickly fired the puck to the open side of the net but Fleury sensed something was coming, lifted his leg and the puck hit him on the back of his pad.
Since Fleury loves to play around during the Penguins' shootout competition in practice, often turning his back to the shooter and trying to guess where the puck is coming from, he was asked after Thursday's practice if this helped him stop Malone.
"No, I just tried to do something because I was in trouble," he said. "I won't be standing with my back to the play on purpose."
But Fleury will be seeing a lot of Malone, a former teammate who loves to yak it up with him in front of the net.
"We talk, yeah," Fleury told reporters shortly before the Eastern Conference series started. "I tell him to move his big butt. He doesn't listen, though. He always stays right in my face."
In the Tampa dressing room, the talk was all about forward Martin St. Louis. He took a stick in the mouth from Penguins defenceman Zbynek Michalek but finished the game. He did not lose any teeth, as initially reported, although he had to have a double root canal Wednesday night after the game.
Despite that, St. Louis was back at the Consol Energy Center on Thursday for a one-hour video session with his teammates, followed by a tough practice.
"Marty St. Louis is a warrior," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. "I see him every day and I would have been very surprised if he wasn't at practice today."
Boucher said his team let the first game of the series slip away late in the first period when they started taking penalties. The Penguins power play, which is one of the worst in the league without injured stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, finished 0-for-6 in the game but the series of opportunities swung the offensive momentum to the host team.
What was galling for Boucher is the Penguins finished the regular season as the most penalized team in the NHL.
"We deserved those penalties," he said. "They were the most penalized team in the league and they took one penalty [three, actually] We have to be smarter about it.
"If they are the most penalized team in the league it will show up in the next game."
Boucher promised some "adjustments" for the second game on Friday night, although "I'm not going to share them with the world."
The biggest problem will be figuring out how to beat Fleury.
"It's going to take more than a free shot against this goaltender," Boucher said. "It's going to take a second and third shot."
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