The Pittsburgh Penguins may have been missing Sidney Crosby due to a concussion Wednesday night, but they still had Marc-Andre Fleurywho stopped 36 shots for a stellar performance to lead the team to a 3-2 home victory over the Washington Capitals to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference second round series.

Marc-Andre Fleury Makes 36 Saves; Penguins Take 3-1 Round 2 Series Lead

“[Fleury] has elevated his game at an important time,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “He’s a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender. I think he’s showing it.”

Among some of the best saves Fleury made came on consecutive shots from T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov (a rebound) late in the first period, with Pittsburgh up 1-0. The goalie knelt to the ice and pushed his pads together to preserve the Penguins’ lead.

Fleury also made a big stop at 9:10 of the third period. Lars Eller spun off Justin Schulz — who scored the Penguins’ game-winning goal — and raced to the net, handling the puck through the crease while Fleury sprawled out to make a frog-like pad save and keep Pittsburgh’s 3-2 lead.

Schulz netted the game-winner on a power play at 11:24 of the second with a one-time slap shot past Braden Holtby. 

Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel scored the Penguins’ first two goals at 4:39 of the first period and 3:51 of the second (unassisted) respectively before Washington’s Kuznetsov and Nate Schmidt scored 1:12 apart (at 7:21 and 8:33) in the second period

Here are more of Fleury’s amazing saves from Wednesday night:

The goalie, arguably one of the best in the NHL, has allowed less than three goals in six of his nine starts for Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has also started each game as a replacement for Matt Murray, who was injured during warmups for Game 1 of the first-round series against Columbus.

Despite his great accomplishments, Fleury was quick to credit Crosby as a leader for the team, even in absentia.

“Sid’s our leader. He’s our captain. He’s a great player,” Fleury said. “You can’t replace him, and I thought the guys showed character together as a team. They played well offensively and defensively.”

Crosby, who is still recovering from a concussion from Game 3 on Monday, a 3-2 loss to Washington, skated with the Penguins on Thursday. The star player was cross-checked in the head by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, and was the knocked off balance on a scoring opportunity when Alex Ovechkin struck him with his stick.

Game 5 is Saturday at 7:15 pm EST in Washington.

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 03: Marc Andre-Fleury @29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a save against the Washington Capitals in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena on May 3, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

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