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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins goalie Matt Murray takes Game 3 loss in stride

Says Predators 'got a couple of bounces' after he allowed five goals on 33 shots

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- After allowing five goals to the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray was not inclined to beat up on himself.

"They got a couple of bounces, I thought," Murray said after facing 33 shots in the 5-1 loss at Bridgestone Arena. "The first one (by Roman Josi) goes off of our shot-blocker and changes direction. And the third one (by James Neal) takes a weird bounce off the back of the net and goes right to their guy.

"You don't want to look too hard into those things. It's just a weird bounce here and there, and they were able to capitalize on it."

 

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The five goals were the most allowed in a Stanley Cup Playoff game by Murray, who is 20-8 in 29 career NHL postseason games and made saves on 62 of 66 shots in the first two games of the series in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 at Nashville on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Murray said he would like to have back all five goals from Game 3.

"A goal is a goal," Murray said. "You want all of them back. That's my mindset. I thought I was in the right spot on almost all of them. A couple of weird bounces and on the breakaway (by Nashville's Craig Smith) maybe I thought I could have made a better play on it, but I thought I was pretty happy with my positioning. It's just about making a save."

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm3: Murray uses blocker to rob Jarnkrok

The Penguins didn't see Murray as part of their problem in Game 3.

"He played well, kept us in the game," said forward Jake Guentzel, who scored his NHL-leading 13th goal 2:46 into the game to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. "We've got to help him out a little more."

Coach Mike Sullivan said the Predators had too much that was easy in Game 3, in large part due to less-than-ideal determination from the Penguins.

"I thought we gave them a couple of freebies, where we didn't force them to have to work for it, and that's an area where we've got to be better moving forward," Sullivan said.

Murray saw Game 3 the same way.

"I think that's what winning or losing comes down to at this time of year, winning puck battles," Murray said. "So in front of our net, I think we need to be harder and in all areas of the game I think we need to be just a little bit harder. We're right there, but I thought they were a little bit more determined than us.

"I don't think we were at our best tonight at all, to be honest. Even in the first, I thought they outplayed us, but we were able to come out of the first with the lead. I just thought we were a little bit on our heels all night, and give credit to them, they played a pretty good game."

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