It was announced on Friday afternoon that goaltender Matt Murray, who replaced Marc-Andre Fleury in Wednesday’s 5-1 Ottawa Senators victory, would be starting in Eastern Conference Final Game 4. The rookie goalie, who helped the team in their Stanley Cup-winning effort last season, proved that he was recovered from the injury that kept him from the first two rounds, stopping 24 shots from the Senators in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-2 win.
Pittsburgh Penguins Win Eastern Conference Final Game 4
Defenseman Olli Maatta opened up the scoring for the Penguins in the last minute of the first period off an odd-man rush with assists from Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Not long after that, Pittsburgh’s Chad Ruhwedel was injured after a bad collision with Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan. He did not return to the game.
A penalty on Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the second period led to a Pittsburgh powerplay goal from Crosby. Brian Dumoulin netted his first playoff goal of the season a few minutes later to put the Penguins up 3-0.
Ottawa’s first goal came from Clarke MacArthur at the end of the second period, deflecting a shot from Ryan past Murray. The Senators faced some injury scares during the game as well, with Cody Ceci, Derick Brassard, and captain Erik Karlsson all missing ice time, but returning to the ice to help the team stage a come-back effort.
A late goal by Tom Pyatt put Ottawa within one, but it wasn’t enough. Despite a strong effort at the end, Ottawa failed to tie up the game.
Pittsburgh, despite missing many players due to injury, as well as losing yet another defenseman with Ruhwedel leaving, was able to recover after a big loss in game three to tie up the series going back home. Coach Mike Sullivan‘s decisions to change up all four lines for this game made an impact, especially for Guentzel, who had two assists in this game. Game 5 will be Sunday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.