COLUMBUS, Ohio — Whether it was the seven goals he allowed or the boos cascading down from Blue Jackets fans inside Nationwide Arena, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury probably won’t be counting the days until his next NHL All-Star Game appearance.
“It was a tough one, that’s for sure,” Fleury said.
Fleury allowed six goals in 9:22, and seven total in one period.
From odd-man breaks galore to unobstructed paths to the net, Fleury had a .563 save percentage and a 27.00 goals-against average.
It was so tough, Fleury insisted, that the second period didn’t feel like 20 minutes.
More like a couple of days.
“It was a slow period,” Fleury said. “Felt (like it took) forever.”
Team Toews topped Team Foligno, 17-12, in what became the highest-scoring NHL All-Star Game in history. The 11 second-period goals also set a record.
Defenseman Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild beat Fleury from the left circle 24 seconds into the period — an omen of what was to come. It looked like Fleury barely saw the shot.
Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin took advantage of more poor defense. Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf passed to Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues. Tarasenko left a between-the-legs drop pass to Getzlaf, who fed Seguin for an easy score.
Forward Rick Nash of the New York Rangers got the third on Fleury — all before the 5-minute mark of the period — when he took a pass from Jonathan Toews and beat Fleury on his doorstep. Even Fleury’s trademark poke-check didn’t work.
Nashville’s Filip Forsberg, John Tavares (two goals) of the New York Islanders and Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek also scored.
Fleury was visibly peeved on the ice, and he didn’t deny his frustration afterward.
“You want to have some fun, but you’re a goalie, and it’s frustrating when (the puck) goes in,” Fleury said. “I laughed for a few. Then I started to cringe.”
Not with his hands over his ears, however, although that would have been perfectly acceptable.
The Blue Jackets’ fans let Fleury have it, an apparent holdover from last spring’s playoff series.
“It’s a good thing because we beat them in the playoffs last year,” Fleury shot back. “I guess that’s why, I think.
“I wish I would have made a few more stops to make it a little more quiet.”
Fleury was asked what he remembered about the playoffs from last year. His answer: “Winning,” complete with a big, wide grin.
What does he remember about the crowd?
“I remember them being quiet at the end when we won,” Fleury said.
Fleury was in rare form after this one, as playful as ever. He joked that he may have bet the over on the number of goals scored.
But the booing was tough to ignore, Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said.
“It’s tough for the goalies in general,” Stamkos said. “The fans were giving it to (Fleury), too. In an all-star game, you don’t see that much. That just shows how passionate they are and knowledgeable about the game. I don’t think guys are going to be complaining about getting razzed at the All-Star game.”