Only three goalies in the NHL have played more minutes than Marc-Andre Fleury. The Pittsburgh Penguins have leaned on their No. 1 netminder heavily since it was revealed that Tomas Vokoun would be out several months while taking blood thinners and recovering from an issue with a blood clot.
Jeff Zatkoff has only been rolled out for Pittsburgh’s back-to-back sets, and he’ll get the nod tonight as they take on the New York Islanders.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 22, 2013
The 26-year-old has made it tough for the Pens to play him too often as this point. In his first two contests he was shelled by the Florida Panthers and the Islanders, giving up 10 goals across those two games. Getting lit up by the Panthers for six goals isn’t exactly a confidence builder, but Zatkoff might have turned a corner is his last outing against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He shut the ailing Jackets out with a solid 19-save performance. That was three weeks ago. If Zatkoff hopes to get more starts as the season wears on, he’ll need to prove to the coaching staff that he isn’t going to allow three or four goals in every game that he starts.
A strong outing against the Islanders could go a long way toward solidifying a more consistent rotation for him.
Fleury will likely be the starter for the Pens when they take on the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow evening.