Fleury soaks up potential last game in Montreal: 'Definitely special'
If this was Marc-Andre Fleury's last game in his home province, it couldn't have gone much better.
Fleury, who hails from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec (about an hour north of Montreal), made 27 saves in the Minnesota Wild's 5-2 victory over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
It was a vintage performance by Fleury in his first appearance of the season. He even generated chants of his name from the Montreal crowd after going into a two-pad stack to rob Johnathan Kovacevic in the third period.
Fleury also received a standing ovation after being named the first star of the game.
"Definitely special," Fleury said postgame. "I told myself before the season I want to enjoy every moment of it. I don't want to have any regrets if this is it. So I think I had a lot of fun tonight. My teammates played amazing in front of me. It was a fun win."
The 38-year-old goaltender has yet to decide on his future beyond this season. After the Wild were eliminated from the 2023 playoffs, Fleury said he'd play in 2023-24 but added, "That might be it." He'll decide at the end of the campaign.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion and 2021 Vezina Trophy winner, Fleury is a surefire Hall of Famer. His 545 wins are the third-most all-time, just seven back of surpassing Patrick Roy for second behind Martin Brodeur's 691.
Fleury is still playing at a high level. He went 24-16-4 last season with a .908 save percentage and a 2.85 goals-against average.