Murray displays playoff magic as Penguins tie series
Los Angeles (AFP) – Matt Murray stopped 24 shots in his first start of the postseason as the Pittsburgh Penguins juggled their roster and beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in game four of their NHL playoff series.
Murray, who guided the Penguins to a Stanley Cup title in 2016, got the start Friday ahead of No.1 Marc-Andre Fleury who had started every game of the 2017 postseason.
“For the most part, we stayed on our toes, held the puck in their end and got some good scoring chances. Or guys deserve lot of credit for the way they played,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said.
Murray looked like he hadn’t missed a beat stopping nine Senator shots in the first period of the pivotal game in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series, which is tied 2-2.
The game ended in chaos with the Senators buzzing the Penguins’ net in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Ottawa forward Kyle Turris hit the post with 12 seconds left while Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin went down on one knee to make a clutch block just moments before the final horn sounded.
Game five is Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Murray gave up one goal on 20 shots in relief in game three while seeing his first postseason action.
He was inserted for game four over Fleury, who was yanked in game three after giving up four goals on the nine shots.
While Murray provided a different look in goal, the Penguins forwards were finally able to solve Senators goalie Craig Anderson, against whom they have just three goals in three games.
Crosby had a goal and an assist, Dumoulin scored once and defenseman Olli Matta scored for the injury-plagued Penguins, who got the competitive juices flowing early in the game in front of Murray.
“This has been same story for us. Five defensemen for two periods and they handled it well,” Crosby said.
Clarke MacArthur and Tom Pyatt scored for the Senators, who battled back from a 3-0 deficit but saw their rally fall just short.