Prisuta: Fleury's Best Will Be Required

Article excerpt

Another round, another one-on-one showdown.

Only this time, the pressure isn't on Sidney Crosby.

Against the Capitals, it was absolutely incumbent upon Crosby to at least match Alex Ovechkin spectacular shift for spectacular shift. Although they rarely played against one another head-to- head, their personal battle defined what was taking place and ultimately went a long way toward deciding the eventual outcome.

Ovechkin finished with eight goals and 14 points.

Crosby finished with eight goals and 13 points.

Crosby's brilliance provided a counter for Ovechkin, ensuring that the Penguins wouldn't be beaten single-handedly.

And in the end, Crosby had a little more help from his friends.

So remarkable was what took place that even Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who seemingly refused to get caught up in the drama all series long, came away amazed in its aftermath.

"With as good a seat as I had to watch both guys, Ovechkin and Crosby seem to be able to elevate their game and answer the phone when it's ringing the loudest," Bylsma said. "The special thing is they know the spotlight is on, and they know they're expected to answer. To be able to do it is a unique thing."

Don't look now, but the phone is ringing again.

This time it isn't for Crosby or one of the Staal brothers.

This one's for Marc-Andre Fleury.

It's a call for situational brilliance. But more than that, it's a call for consistency. …