No. 552! Fleury passes Roy in wins as Wild shutout Islanders to snap skid

Marc-Andre Fleury got pulled from a junior game once when he was 16 years old.

Back then, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles who Fleury played for in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had the backup goalie on the bench track shots and where they came from. After the game, then-coach Pascal Vincent looked at the paper Fleury should have been scribbling on, but there weren't any stats.

All Fleury wrote was, "I'm not a statistician. I'm a goalie."

The second-winningest goaltender of all-time, eventually.

A week-plus after tying Patrick Roy, Fleury passed his childhood idol — the goalie he used to pretend to be — on Monday to take sole possession of second place in NHL history at 552 wins after the Wild blanked the Islanders 5-0 at Xcel Energy Center to snap their four-game slide since Fleury matched Roy on Jan. 6 at Columbus.

"I always admire seeing you jumping on the ice, watching you practicing with your teammates or playing games, challenging your teammates, your opponent," Roy said in a video message the Wild released while commemorating Fleury playing 1,000 games last month. "But I always admire the fun you had on the ice."

Fleury was swarmed by his Wild teammates after his first shutout of the season and 74th in his career, his 21 saves complementing a much-needed airtight effort by the offense and defense in the Wild's second win in their last 10 games.

Mats Zuccarello scored on the power play just 2 minutes, 11 seconds into the first period and Connor Dewar buried a turnover at 2:18 of the second before Joel Eriksson Ek capitalized twice and Marcus Foligno completed the rout with 57 seconds left.

Eriksson Ek deflected in a Kirill Kaprizov pass at 13:36 of the second on the power play (2-for-5) and then polished off a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Foligno with 3:51 to go in the third; the Wild penalty kill went 5-for-5.

Zuccarello finished with two points after assisting on Eriksson Ek's first goal, while Dewar (17 games) and Eriksson Ek (10) snapped goalless droughts. Dewar's seven goals are a career high. New York's Ilya Sorokin had 29 saves before Kenneth Appleby had six in relief.

Fleury, 39, trails only Martin Brodeur's 691 wins and with how the workload for NHL goaltenders has tapered off, it's possible no one ever catches him. The closest active goalie is the Rangers' Jonathan Quick, who is 17th at 384 victories.

"[Fleury's] one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game," rookie Brock Faber said.

The first overall draft pick in 2003 by Pittsburgh, Fleury has three Stanley Cups and a Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie, a pedigree that makes him a lock for the Hall of Fame.

His junior coach Vincent, who's now behind the bench for the Blue Jackets so he watched Fleury tie Roy in person a few weeks ago, isn't surprised.

Back then, the Screaming Eagles planned to return Fleury to his midget team, but they couldn't.

"Every practice he was just the best guy out there," Vincent recalled.

As for how he handled Fleury blowing off his statistician duties, Vincent was mad, but he also loved Fleury's response.

"It told me a lot about his character," Vincent recalled. "He wanted to be a goalie."

One of the best ever.

"It's pretty amazing what he's been able to do, the consistency he's had," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "To be able to do that, you have to adjust. You have to find ways to get better and improve, and he's done that throughout his whole career. It says a lot about him."