It started with a goal from Mike Hoffman 48 seconds into the game and the Senators piled on from there, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 to open a 2-1 series lead.
Regardless we have seen Fleury play great in these playoffs. “I know our line’s been trying to play pretty simple and I think that’s been beneficial for us”.
While Craig Anderson was only beaten by Sidney Crosby, for the Sens, Kyle Turris, Zack Smith, Mike Hoffman, Marc Methot and Derick Brassard did the scoring in this one. Fleury was replaced by Matt Murray, who was sharp in his season playoff debut but he can’t score a well as stop the puck. The roles are somewhat reverse from last season when the 22-year-old Murray took over for a concussed Fleury and guided Pittsburgh to its fourth Stanley Cup title in franchise history.
“The puck kind of danced on me”, said MacArthur. “Not the ideal circumstances by any means, but it felt good to try and shake some rust off a little bit”. Ottawa plays an extremely defensive brand of hockey designed by coach Guy Boucher, who arrived last May. And from there, the Senators were on their way.
“It’s always a hard decision, but it’s a good hard decision because we have two real good goalies”, said Sullivan after a Thursday afternoon practice at the University of Ottawa. The Penguins are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Ottawa, 1-4 in the last 5 meetings and the under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
The horn would blow, and Ottawa would come away with a decisive 5-1 win over the Penguins – and more importantly, a two-games-to-one lead in the Eastern Conference final. “As I said yesterday, it’s a good hard decision to have because we have two guys who are as capable as they are”. “Kind of the season goes by and now we’re making the playoffs and beating good teams, we’ve got more confidence – you’re beating Boston and you’re beating NY and now we’re here – I think everyone in this dressing room is kind of realizing we can do this”.
“I think I’d be lying to you if I told you I would have bet the house on it, but, no, we’re a confident group”, Senators defenseman Chris Wideman said. The Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t saying which of their two goaltenders will start Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final.
“We’re not making change for the sake of making change”, Sullivan said.
Even though the energy was completely sucked out of the Penguins after their miserable start in Game 3, Murray came in and stopped the bleeding. “When you’re flatfooted and down by a few in the first couple minutes it’s not a good feeling and I don’t think we’re going to let that happen again”. We’ve got to be playing on our toes. Many of those wins, especially in overtime, had a coin-toss feel to them. It certainly increases your chances of winning games when you get production throughout your lineup. I’m aware that a lot of people were taking the Rangers, (we were) even (considered underdogs) with Boston. We don’t always expect them to agree with our decisions.
Boucher said his team responded to the loud support of the home fans.
“There’s just no bad skaters really anymore”, he said. The game kicks off at 8:00 PM EST and NBCSN (US) will doing the national TV coverage while the game can also be watched online live on FuboTV. “And that’s what I tried to do, just play with no hesitation and no fear”. Six more and the 2007 record of 51 will fall, which seems likely given that both conference finals still have much to be decided with the entire Stanley Cup final lying ahead after that.