MONTREAL – It was one of those history-making moments in which everything came together perfectly on Thursday evening.
Not far from his hometown of Sorel
-Tracy, Quebec, Marc-Andre Fleury had the chance to capture his 500th career win as a goaltender against the Canadiens in Montreal. The Blackhawks’ netminder missed out on that chance against the Rangers at the United Center on Tuesday, setting up an even better situation to make some history.
Naturally, Fleury didn’t miss this opportunity and did so in fitting fashion.
With the crowd chanting his name as the time wound down, the goaltender shutout the Canadiens in a 2-0 Blackhawks’ victory at the Bell Centre on Thursday evening. Fleury’s 30 saves along with goals from Jonathan Toews and Henrik Borgstrom were enough to make history on this night in Montreal.
The goaltender becomes the third in the history of the NHL to reach 500 victories, joining Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551) as members of the exclusive club.
“It was a little crazy,” said Fleury of the fans chanting his name after the game. “It was a nice feeling to have such a great reception in Montreal was awesome.”
Thursday’s victory was just the eighth of his career as a member of the Blackhawks after he was traded to the team from the Golden Knights during the summer. He won 117 games in his four years in Vegas with the majority of his wins coming as a member of the Penguins for 14 years.
In Pittsburgh, Fleury won 375 games and aided the team’s run to three Stanley Cup championships, establishing himself as one of the elite goaltenders in the history of the game. His shutout of the Canadiens on Thursday was the 44th of his career and the second this season.
While the Blackhawks have only had a part in his historic chase for 500 wins, it’s still special for his teammates of only a few months to take part in the moment Thursday.
“It’s amazing,” said captain Jonathan Toews. “It’s fitting that he gets this win in Montreal, too. The greats that he’s joining with 500 wins, in the home of so many great goaltenders here in Montreal. It’s pretty cool for everyone in that locker room. I think we all feel pretty honored to be part of that with him.”