Pittsburgh Penguins Talk: Your Three Stars of the Playoffs

Jun 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) and right wing Bryan Rust (17) react after Rust scored a goal against the Nashville Predators during the first period in game five of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) and right wing Bryan Rust (17) react after Rust scored a goal against the Nashville Predators during the first period in game five of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 6, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) follows the puck against the Washington Capitals in game five of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) follows the puck against the Washington Capitals in game five of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Shane Lunnen

My three stars of the playoffs, in no particular order, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray, and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

Malkin was sensational during the playoffs and in this humble writer’s opinion, deserved to win the Conn Smythe.  He led the playoffs with 28 points, 10 goals and 18 assists.  Not just the points, but it was his presence on the ice.  Most nights he played well and was a force with his physical play.  Just consistent and was working hard for that third Stanley Cup.

Murray was hurt before Game 1 against Columbus and did not play until Game 3 in the Eastern Conference finals.  Once he was in net though he was great.  He posted a .937 save percentage and 3 shutouts, including the last two games to close out the Stanley Cup victory.  Two Stanley Cups for Murray in his first two playoffs.  Not bad for a rookie!

That leaves us with Fleury.  The Flower stepped into net when Murray went down and was fantastic through 14 games.  His shutout of Washington in Game 7 was a thing of beauty.  Unfortunately in Game 3 against Ottawa he let up 4 goals in the first period and was pulled in favor of Murray the rest of the way.  Hard to say that was probably his last game as a Penguin.  But make no mistake about it.  If not for Flower, Pittsburgh does not win the Stanley Cup.  Tip of the hat to the man for not only this playoff run but for his entire career in Pittsburgh.