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20 May 2017, 02:09 | Erica Roy
Whoever the Pens decide to start in goal in Game 4, the Senators are expecting a big push back from the Pens on Friday night in an attempt to send the series back to Pittsburgh knotted at two games a piece.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (54-32-7-4, 38-52 O/U): Ottawa's 1-3-1 system is largely responsible for flustering Pittsburgh, although defenseman Chris Wideman was quick to point out that it's a group effort as opposed to individual play. Better change the goalie.
What we do know is that both coaches - Pittsburgh's Sullivan and Ottawa's Guy Boucher - have become nearly obsessive in talking about the first 10 minutes of a game, nearly as though everything beyond that is already decided. "We try to make the best decisions that we think give our team the best chance to win, and we go from there".
This time, with his team trailing 2-1 in a series that's seen them score only three goals in three games, he made the decision to sit Fleury down.
LINE HISTORY: The Penguins opened as +101 road chalk for Game 4 and was bet up to 103 before returning to +101.
Trevor Daley, injured in the Game 6 of the Washington series, played last night, but the doubtfulness about his availability forced the Penguins to dress seven defensemen, rather than the usual six.
Murray, who suffered a lower-body injury during warm-ups before the opening game of their opening round National Hockey League playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, finally returning to the Penguins line-up as a back-up to Marc-Andre Fleury at the end of their second-round series against the Washington Capitals.
Right now, it looks like Sullivan is going with Murray, and it's hard to argue against it. "The scores at this time of the year generally are fairly low".
The total has gone over in only two of the Penguins' last 10 home games in the month of May. Had he not gotten hurt, Murray would have been the starter the whole way. Murray was the better regular-season goaltender, and Fleury was only playing because of injury. Four of them found the back of the net.
The Philadelphia series in 2012 was a disaster, and it ended with Fleury and Kris Letang sitting next to another in full gear in the Philly visitors dressing room, with Letang speaking quietly in French to his devastated teammate and friend.
We'll touch on Pittsburgh's goaltending situation in a second, but Craig Anderson and the Ottawa defense has really shut down this lethal Penguins team.
Fleury never complained. He stayed positive. Fleury has a.924 save percentage in 15 starts this postseason. Pittsburgh has been hellaciously outshot in the post-season - they are at about 44 per cent of available shot attempts at 5-on-5, 16th of 16 playoff teams - and Fleury had to be great. Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed 37 goals on 490 shots faced and Matt Murray has given up three goals on 46 shots. He had, according to sharp observers, a terrific practice. "I think me and (Sidney Crosby) always feel pressure every game". "I think we did an all-around good job tonight".
When I'm watching a game and I have no real rooting interest in who wins and loses there is only one thing I want, and that's to be entertained. It was the second goal of the playoffs for Methot after he went scoreless in 68 games during the regular season. "I'll put that one behind me and be ready to go". He was in one net and Murray in another, and eventually Murray gave way to third-stringer Tristan Jarry, which some observers thought meant he was not the No. 1.
Both goalies skated Friday morning at the University of Ottawa's Minto Sports Complex.
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Ryan Johansen, Nashville's leading scorer, suffered a season-ending left-thigh injury in Game 4 that required emergency surgery. Those seven players have combined for 71 points, which accounts for a substantial majority of Nashville's offensive production.
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