Senators chase Fleury, rout Penguins 5-1 in Game 3
20 May, 2017, 07:22 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
Ottawa Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (68) celebrates after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period of game three of the Eastern Conference final in the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoffs in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.The Ottawa Senators didn't expect to blow out the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.
That it took this long to become a debate is a credit to the strong postseason Marc-Andre Fleury has had in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Head coach Mike Sullivan chose to keep Fleury in net to start the conference final, leaving Murray to wait for another chance. By the time Zack Smith's bank-shot wraparound goal made it 4-0 Ottawa with 7:08 to play, Pittsburgh pulled Fleury - who allowed the trio of goal on three successive shots - in favour of Matt Murray for his first appearance since April 4. "Our team has to do a better job tonight of having that start, but also go out there and play with that urgency we need so that we don't fall down 3-1". They both want to be in the net. "You look at Pittsburgh - they've got all-stars, but all the games are just (close)".
The 27-year-old Hoffman said he thinks teams are trying to limit mistakes against high-powered opponents with simple hockey. We have to go out there and earn everything. Fleury has gotten the Penguins to where they are, but his slide in Game 3 might just have opened the door for Murray. "It's out of my control, so I don't really think too much about it". "So as I said, these decisions are very hard and that's the choice we made". "I think it brings juice to the bench". "But I think the whole game for us is to make sure we play equally as good both ways. Outside of the stuff the coaches and management have to put on the ice, we go out there and if we focus on something else, we're not going to do very good".
Then in Game 5, the Senators found themselves in a similar position, down a goal in the final minutes.
Sidney Crosby scored on the power play 6:07 into the third period, but that never sparked a comeback and it didn't appear there was enough time for one, even if it had.
There have been three goals scored by the Penguins in this series and unlike past year, depth scoring is nonexistent.
Craig Anderson made 25 saves for the Senators.
Sullivan doesn't plan on naming a starter until after his team's skate on Friday morning. The performance of goaltender Braden Holtby is an ongoing concern for Washington, as his save percentage has dipped to.914 in the playoffs (11 percentage points lower than in the regular season).
I agree with this decision, and yet it feels savage.
Streit was making his playoff debut for the increasingly battered Pens, who lost Justin Schultz and Bryan Rust to upper-body injuries in Game 2. As of this writing, this year's playoffs have featured 46 one goal games.
Penguins' Phil Kessel (81), Chris Kunitz (14) and Jake Guentzel (59) celebrate the winning shootout goal against the Edmonton Oilers in March.
NOTES: The Senators set a franchise playoff record by scoring three times in a span of 2:18.
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