Pittsburgh Penguins History: Revenge of the Back-up Goalies

Pittsburgh Penguins, Johan Hedberg. (Photo by: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/NHLI)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Johan Hedberg. (Photo by: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/NHLI) /

On Apr. 10, 2010, Johan Hedberg shut-out his former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hedberg became one of five Penguins Alumni to earn shut-outs in their post-Pittsburgh career.

Players leave teams for any number of reasons and the Pittsburgh Penguins are no exception to the rule. When a player returns to face an old ally, they usually find another gear to their game and look forward to putting on a strong performance.

When those players turn out to be goalies, earning a shut-out (SO) adds more motivation to stick it to their old club.

Here’s a look at 5 Pittsburgh Penguins goaltenders that posted shut-outs against their former team in the seasons following their departure.

Johan Hedberg – Atlanta Thrashers

Hedberg spent three seasons with Pittsburgh from 2000-03 and earned a record of 46-57-14 in 116 games played (GP) with a goals-against-average (GAA) of 2.86, and 7 shutouts (SO)

Hedberg made 33 stops in a 1-0 victory on Apr. 10, 2010, including 5 saves on Evgeni Malkin and four saves on Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Kennedy, and Jordan Staal. The game also included an appearance from future Penguin Ron Hainsey.

Ty Conklin – Detroit Redwings

Marian Hossa was not the only member of the Penguins that swapped sides following the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, as Conklin joined Hossa in the hunt for a championship.

Conklin spent one season with Pittsburgh in 2008-09 and earned a record of 18-8-5 with a GAA of 2.89 and two SO’s in 33 GP.

Conklin’s SO against his former team occurred on Feb. 8, 2009, in a 3-0 victory. Conklin made 33 saves and weathered 5 shots from Pascal Dupuis and four each from Kris Letang and Malkin

Patrick Lalime – Ottawa Senators

Lalime set a league record by going 14-0-2 in his first 16 starts with the Penguins, in a stretch of games that lasted from Dec. 6, 1996 to Jan. 21, 1997.

Overall, Lalime appeared in 39 games during the 1996-97 season and earned a record of 21-12-2, with 3 SO’s and a GAA of 3.15.

Lalime posted two SO’s against his former club.

The first occurred on Mar. 9, 2000, in a 7-0, Senators slouching of the Penguins. Former Penguin Shawn McEachern scored two goals and three as Lalime made 17 stops in the victory.

The second SO occurred on Feb. 12, 2003. This game was much closer, as Lalime backstopped the Senators to a 3-0 victory.

Tom Barrasso – Carolina Hurricanes

Barrasso spent 12 years and 460 games minding the Penguins net. Barrasso earned a record of 226-153-52 with a GAA of 3.10 and 22 SO’s.

The Penguins gave Barrasso a light night of work in this game from Dec. 16, 2001, as they mustered up just 11 shots on their former “peng-friend”, including a three-shot first period and two-shot third period.

Part of Pittsburgh’s inability to generate any offense in the game was the fact they took 67 minutes in penalties, including 27 minutes earned by John Jakopin.

Penguins Alumni Ron Francis and Jeff Daniels added more insult to injury to Pittsburgh, as Francis scored two goals and three points and Daniels added another goal, in the Hurricanes 7-0 win.

Marc-Andre Fleury – Las Vegas Golden Knights

Fleury has been a steady force since he joined the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and almost earned his fourth Stanley Cup in his first season with Las Vegas in 2017-18.

While a member of the Penguins, the legendary Fleury essentially, rewrote the goaltender record book, and earned a record of 375-216-68 and a GAA of 2.58, with 44 SO’s in 691 GP and three Stanley Cup titles.

Fleury picked up his first SO of the season and first against his former allies on Oct. 19, 2019. Fleury made 29 saves in a 3-0 win, with the bulk of shots coming from Patric Hornqvist and Dominik Kahun, who fired four shots each.

Who was your favorite goaltender to take their revenge against the Penguins? Drop a comment below.