Fleury or Murray? Sullivan keeps quiet on goalie situation

The trio of Malkin, Crosby and Phil Kessel has combined for five points (three goals, two assists) in this series for Pittsburgh, which scored an NHL-best 3.39 goals per contest in the regular season before marginally upping the ante over the first two rounds of the playoffs (3.42).

The Senators and Penguins will face-off in Game 5 of the series Sunday at 3 p.m.at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. And after fourteen games of edge of your seat, tense close hockey games (aside from the first two games in NY in round 2), it was nice for Senators fans to have a boring old 4 goal lead for most of a game for a change. "We'll see how it goes", head coach Mike Sullivan said.

"I think he leads by example and I thought he had one of his best games tonight", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

"Every line, every pair, we just competed really hard, and we put pucks behind them". Playing careless, he said, means, "you're going to get pounded". Matt Murray went down with a lower body injury before Game 1 of the first round against Columbus, but Pittsburgh still found themselves on solid ground with Marc-Andre' Fleury stepping in. Now, you can argue it's absolutely the right move. The Senators have now won four of their last five meetings with the Penguins. Had he not gotten hurt, Murray would have been the starter the whole way.

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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. There's been a sense with Fleury for a long time, however, that the bottom could fall out at any moment in the playoffs and we'd get a performance like the one we saw Wednesday.

It's easy to forget that Murray stepped in capably during Pittsburgh's run to the Stanley Cup a year ago, with a 2.08 goals-against average and.923 save percentage over 21 postseason starts (15 wins).

Fleury never complained. He stayed positive.

Fleury, 32, has a 9-6 record with a.924 save percentage in the postseason.

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Johansen finished the game, logging his last shift just 2:00 before Corey Perry's game-winning goal in overtime for the Ducks. The Predators are outshooting them by 43 shots in the series and have 48 more even-strength shot attempts than the Ducks.

Pittsburgh surged in the third period of Game 2 and controlled play but struggled to create key chances in tight. "I don't know. I don't even want to speculate", said Senators forward Bobby Ryan, after Crosby had been held to one point and a minus-4 rating through the conference final's first three games. "I just think we've got to be more ready to play from the drop of the puck", he said. "Just like everyone else, he'll turn the page, and we will as a group and make sure we're better".

"I don't want to say last game was a statement or anything", Ryan said. It was the second goal of the playoffs for Methot after he went scoreless in 68 games during the regular season. "I'm not going to elaborate on the coaches' decision".

What also has to be considered is the health of Murray should Sullivan choose to change things up in goal.

Fleury, the winningest goaltender in franchise history, is 4-1 after a loss during the playoffs and was the primary reason the Penguins were able to oust the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals for the second straight season and the ninth time in 10 postseason meetings. Most notable of all was the veteran enjoying his own net at practice with Murray sharing his crease with third-stringer Tristan Jarry.

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But his mentality needs to stay the same as Minnesota, and I think as he continues to get even more comfortable and comfortable. Following the game, Stevens said he told his team that each game is worth one, regardless of how many points decide it.

Early indications at the Penguins' morning skate pointed toward Murray getting the start with Pittsburgh looking to even the series on the road in Ottawa.

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