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Fleury peeved by Game 2 blowout: 'Wish I could've stepped up'

Glenn James / National Hockey League / Getty

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was his own harshest critic after he struggled in his side's 7-3 setback to the Dallas Stars in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

"Embarrassing on my part, giving up seven goals like that in the playoffs," Fleury said, according to The Athletic's Michael Russo.

He added, "I want to come in and give a chance to my team to stay in the game and win. That's not what I did. I gave up too many goals. I think we had to open up to try to come back in the game, and we gave up more chances, but bottom line, I didn't make any good, key saves in the game."

Fleury made 24 saves on 31 shots for a .774 save percentage in the contest as the Stars evened up the first-round series. The three-time Stanley Cup champion allowed 3.83 goals above expected at all strengths, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Filip Gustavsson, Fleury's 24-year-old running mate, manned the crease for Game 1 during Minnesota's 3-2 victory in double overtime. Gustavsson made 51 stops and played for just over 92 minutes.

Fleury was disappointed he didn't follow in his partner's footsteps.

"Wish I could've stepped up, give him a break and give him a win to keep going," he said.

Fleury continued, "He was tremendous, awesome that last game. I just wanted to do my part and my job tonight ... and I didn't. That pissed me off."

Gustavsson and Fleury largely shared the crease during the regular season, but the elder statesman made the bulk of the starts:

Goalie Starts Record Sv% GAA
Fleury 45 24-16-4 .908 2.85
Gustavsson 37 22-9-7 .931 2.10

Wild head coach Dean Evason briefly touched on his decision to switch goalies after Game 2.

"It's just, it's what we do, right?" he said. "We've done it all year. The game, nothing was on Flower tonight. It was all on us."

Fleury started the first five games of the Wild's first-round clash against the St. Louis Blues last season, but Minnesota switched to Cam Talbot during the team's do-or-die Game 6 after the 2021 Vezina Trophy winner conceded four goals in back-to-back outings.

The Wild will get a chance to retake their lead on the Stars during Game 3 on Friday as the series heads to Minnesota.

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