Senators chase Fleury, rout Penguins 5-1 in Game 3

Solenn Plantier
Mai 20, 2017

Matt Murray will make his first start of the playoffs in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final tonight in Ottawa.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan made it official on Friday.

Coach Mike Sullivan pulled Marc-Andre Fleury in a 5-1 loss during Game 3. Murray allowed just one goal on 20 shots and Sullivan chose to make the switch with Pittsburgh trailing Ottawa 2-1 in the best-of-seven affair.

The narrative after Game 2 was that the Senators' defensive-minded 1-3-1 play in the neutral zone was a bore to watch.

"Some nights it's going to be a little bit different. you're not going to be able to put the puck in the net as easy as you want", said Karlsson, who picked up his first point of the series and wound up a plus-4 on the night. Wednesday was a peak at what the Penguins now are if they don't get elite goaltending every night. I think it's - you know, it's a hunger, and we've got to play with more conviction.

And it isn't anything Matt Murray has done or really hasn't done, but more so the form that Fleury has been on - and the big picture to all of this - since Fleury was hurriedly summoned to start the playoffs when Murray couldn't go. They felt it was important to show they could push the pace of the game and make life hard for Pittsburgh. "It's out of my control, so I don't really think too much about it".

Alexandre Burrows, who suffered a lower body injury in Game 3 will likely be a game time decision.

"I haven't been on a run like this since junior stuff, when you're going to the (Memorial) Cup", said the former Medicine Hat Tiger. "I think it brings juice to the bench".

"When (Kent) Nilsson got here, I think we went 10-1 in the regular season", Lowe said. The NHL's highest-scoring team has found the going significantly tougher against the Senators and surging goaltender Craig Anderson.

Crosby's first goal of the series - and also his first point - with 13:53 left in the third broke Anderson's bid for a shutout and an upset Malkin was given a misconduct with two minutes left while different Senators had two-point nights. And this is a very good team.

As one could expect, the question posed to Sullivan post-game was what the change in goal, and the poor showing from Fleury, meant for Friday night's contest. Ottawa has been held to less than 25 shots just twice, while the free-wheeling Pens have been held fewer than 25 on 5 occasions in this playoff season.

"We know it's not going to be like that next game", said Hoffman.

I agree with this decision, and yet it feels savage.

No practice once again for injured players Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust, and Justin Schultz. Sure, the Penguins are the better team and have been in these situations before, but the value is with Ottawa, especially with the way game three played out.

Aside from the luck and the bounces and all the things that influence a hockey game outside of skill, determination and timely saves, the grind appears to be dangerously close to catching up to Crosby and his Penguins. Rookie Jake Guentzel's nine playoff goals are tied for the league lead but he hasn't broken through against Ottawa.

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