The Pittsburgh Penguins will have goaltender Tomas Vokoun back on the roster just in time for the NHL playoffs.
The Penguins recalled Vokoun from a stint with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins after the goalie missed the entire 2013-14 regular season following surgery to dissolve blood clots found in his leg.
Vokoun was cleared to start playing again in February and just finished a week-long conditioning stint with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he started two games, according to CBSSports.com.
Goaltending has been one of the Penguins’ biggest problem areas in the postseason, with starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury turning in shaky performances throughout last year’s playoff run. Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma put Vokoun in net for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New York Islanders, and the Czech-born goalie led the Pens to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Penguins have stuck with rookie Jeff Zatkoff as Fleury’s backup this season, and it’s likely that will remain the case for the playoffs. Vokoun had a .919 save percentage in 20 games behind Fleury last season. Vokoun’s playoff statistics improved with a .933 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average in 11 starts in 2013.
The Penguins open the first round of playoffs Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.