The Pittsburgh Penguins are set to play 36-year-old backup goalie Tomas Vokoun in a pivotal Game 5 match up against the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Vokoun gets the start because of Marc-Andre Fleury’s recent struggles that included 14 goals being given up in the past three games.
Vokoun was brought in to Pittsburgh for this exact reason after last postseason’s letdown.
It will be Vokoun’s first playoff action since 2007, but the veteran is excited to take his place between the pipes and he hopes that his experience will help him settle in the net and put on the performance Pittsburgh needs in Game 5.
“For me, I’m going to enjoy it,” Vokoun said, via NHL.com. “I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get the chance to play again in playoffs. It’s nice to have the chance. You play hockey to be in this moment. You don’t play hockey to go for morning skate, take shots and do that.
“Everybody is nervous; you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t. But I’ve played long enough and been through a lot, and hopefully that will pull me through.”
Pittsburgh will need a strong performance from Vokoun in order to avoid heading in to Game 6 in New York just one game away from elimination.
The Penguins are one of the Stanley Cup favorites and they will be much more comfortable if they are able to take a 3-2 edge heading in to the weekend.