Vokoun expecting strong push back from Senators

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun knows the Ottawa Senators will be coming hard at him Friday, with a determined push to get to every loose puck in and around his net.

Vokoun expecting strong push back from Senators
Goalies Tomas Vokoun (L) and Marc-Andre Fleury take a break as the Pittsburgh Penguins practice at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the NHL's Eastern Conference semi-final. (Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen)

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun knows the Ottawa Senators will be coming hard at him Friday, with a determined push to get to every loose puck in and around his net.

“They scored one goal, what else are they going to say?” said the veteran Vokoun, now the surprising backbone for the Penguins after Marc-Andre Fleury struggled in the opening four games against the New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. “If we had lost 4-1, I’m sure we would be saying the same things. This is playoff hockey. You want to win. You want to make it as tough as possible for opposition players. I mean, even though, we won (Game 1), we know we have to be better.”

Vokoun says the Penguins are also aiming to be meaner and tougher at the other end of the ice, making life as miserable as possible for Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, his friend from their days together with the Florida Panthers.

“Even if we did score four goals, we’re still trying to go hard to the net and make it hard on Craig, making sure he can’t see pucks and make sure he has to fight,” he said. “Nothing changes.”

Vokoun, 35, says he’s not stressed by the pressure of his situation.

“For me, I wasn’t supposed to be in the net, so that makes it so much easier. And it’s not like I’m worried about the future or playing the next 10 years. Basically, I’m taking every game like it could be my last. And that’s why it’s so much fun.”

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