There’s no easy way to put this, but it has to be said.
If you live in the Eastern Time Zone and decided to go to bed before the Toronto Maple Leafs’ game against the Vegas Golden Knights came to an end on Tuesday night, you made a terrible mistake.
As a direct result of your decision, you missed out on seeing one of the highlights of the 2019-20 season live.
With his Golden Knights up 3-2 late in the third period at T-Mobile Arena, Marc-Andre Fleury made a sensational save on Maple Leafs forward Nic Petan.
Marc-Andre Fleury absolute glove robbery on Nic Petan pic.twitter.com/1NqCthgcFX— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 20, 2019
As time ticked away for Toronto, Ilya Mikheyev came into Vegas’ zone with some speed and ripped a shot that beat Fleury over the shoulder. Unfortunately for Mikheyev — and inevitability Petan — the puck rang off of the crossbar before hitting the end boards and/or the referee standing near the corner of the rink.
Petan was the first on the ice to the biscuit and quickly swatted it on net, attempting to bury the game’s tying marker on his backhand before Fleury realized where it was. While Petan did find himself on a tough angle at the time, it was the right idea.
After the puck left Petan’s stick and flew towards the yawning cage, Fleury tracked it, dove to his left and caught it with his glove. Honestly, words to properly describe the athleticism required to pull of what he did have been difficult to come by.
And, if you watch the clip again, it even had the broadcast’s score board operator in a tizzy.
“It was fun,” Fleury said to reporters with a chuckle about the moment following the game. “You know, a little lucky because I didn’t stop the first one, it was off the crossbar, right? It’s good when you get those secondary opportunities to redeem yourself.
“I just enjoyed it. You know, [had] a little giggle, a little smile, right? [I was] just happy it didn’t go in.”
One of the few people in the building that seemingly wasn’t surprised that Fleury made the play was Gerard Gallant.
“Yeah, he’s pretty incredible when he makes the type of saves like that,” Vegas’ head coach said to reporters with a smile. “It’s a huge save, obviously. But, as a coach, you come to expect that from him. He makes those saves and he’s acrobatic. He never gives up on a puck.”
The stop was the best of the 31 he made on the night to secure a 4-2 victory for Vegas as a shot off of Cody Eakin’s stick into the empty net a few minutes later sealed it.
The victory proved to be the 450th regular-season win of Fleury’s career.
The 34-year-old and three-time Stanley Cup winner is only the seventh goaltender in NHL history to reach the milestone.
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