Penguins vs. Islanders: Tomas Vokoun to start Game 5

Justin K. Aller

Marc-Andre Fleury's struggles have finally come to a breaking point and Dan Bylsma has decided to start Tomas Vokoun in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun will be starting against the New York Islanders in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal on Thursday night, according to head coach Dan Bylsma on Wednesday.

Penguins starter Marc-Andre Fleury has fared poorly in the playoffs and has allowed several questionable goals. The situation finally came to a breaking point on Tuesday night when Fleury allowed an atrocious goal in the closing minutes of the Game 4 with Pittsburgh trailing by one.

Fleury is developing a reputation as a poor playoff performer and the claim has been substantiated by his statistics in recent postseason campaigns.

After struggling in last season's first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers (26 goals allowed, .834 save percentage), Fleury has seemingly picked up where he left off. In four starts against the Islanders this postseason, he has allowed 14 goals and has recorded a .891 save percentage.

Entering this season, many believed the Penguins acquired Vokoun in case such a situation emerged. Now that it has, Bylsma has made the smart decision to give him a shot.

While the argument could be made that not all of the goals were Fleury's fault, it's hard to deny that he carries a considerable amount of responsibility. The Penguins made it clear that this team is a special circumstance; due to the team's salary cap situation, general manager Ray Shero acquired a slew of rental players with the intention of making a hard push for the cup. The team as it's currently constructed will not be together next season.

In other words: it's cup or bust.

The biggest concern about the Penguins entering the postseason was their ability to stop their opponents from scoring. Thus far, it has been an issue.

Whether it's totally Fleury's fault remains to be seen.

However, Bylsma will be better prepared to determine that after seeing how Vokoun fares in Game 5 on Thursday night.

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