“Yes,” was all he answered Tuesday when asked by reporters in Pittsburgh if he knew who his starting goalie would be Wednesday night in Boston, with his team trailing 2-0.
The Penguins had ridden hot backup Tomas Vokoun for the past couple of weeks after starter Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after struggling in the first round against the New York Islanders. But after giving up three goals to the Bruins in Game 1 and three more in the first period of Game 2, Vokoun was pulled for Fleury. He didn’t fare much better, surrendering three goals on 17 shots en route to a 6-1 loss that put Pittsburgh in a deep hole.
In five games in these playoffs, Fleury has a .883 save percentage and has given up an average of 3.4 goals per game. Vokoun, through nine playoff games, has a .929 save percentage and has a 2.2 GAA.
So who will start Game 3? That much is still unclear, but Bylsma did confirm changes were coming after his team surrendered nine goals and scored just one through the first two games against the Bruins.
“I think there's going to be some changes to our lineup and some of our combinations, our lines,” Bylsma said. “I think very early on last night, we got behind by a goal and then the second goal right after the penalty kill, and we got off our game plan. We got off individual games by trying to get back a goal or goals by one play, by one instance, by one situation, and it got off -- got us off a path, and we deviated from the game plan in an effort to do so.
“And we have to, as a group and as lines and as D pairings, we have to get back to playing our game. We have to get back to playing good defensive hockey, we have to get back to playing get away from the puck, and that's got to happen throughout our lineup, and I think you'll see some changes in our lines and a few guys being added to the lineup to do so.”
Bruins president Cam Neely said he expected a desperate Penguins team in Game 3.
“This is going to be the toughest game of the series,” he told Boston sports radio station 98.5 the Sports Hub when asked what his message to the team would be, “and be prepared for that. Play the way we need to play but be prepared for the toughest game of the series.”
Bylsma had a similar message.
“Right now we're not liking the picture, down 0-2,” he said. “They're in control. They've won two games on the road. You know, we have to now refocus. We have to win Game 3. We have to go in there and focus on getting that win, and that'll be our complete focus in how we get back into the series.”