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Matt Murray, Penguins hold off Senators in Game 4

Pittsburgh evens series with 24 saves from goalie in first start of postseason

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Matt Murray made 24 saves in his first start of this postseason, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday. 

The series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

"It's not an easy thing to do," Murray said of joining the Stanley Cup Playoffs in progress. "All I can really do is kind of jump in and try not to think about it. Just try and play with the flow of the game and kind of let yourself get lost in the game a little bit.

"I thought I did a pretty good job of that tonight. There's a lot of ways I could have been a lot better, I thought, but all together felt good about the game. And like I said, the guys played unbelievably tonight. I think it was when we needed it the most. We really needed a win here and a good bounce-back game, and that's what we had."

 

[WATCH: All Senators vs. Penguins highlights | RELATED: Complete Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh series coverage]

 

Olli Maatta, Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin scored to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead 11:30 into the second period. 

Clarke MacArthur and Tom Pyatt scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson made 32 saves. 

Ottawa finished the game on the power play when Pittsburgh was penalized for having too many on the ice with 35 seconds left. Murray, playing in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, made nine saves in the third period.

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm4: Maatta buries first playoff goal

"We know either one of the goalies is going to give us a chance to win. Murray was awesome today," Maatta said. "He made some huge saves to keep us in the game. You know what? He was just a wall out there."

Maatta gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead when he scored his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal (in 47 games) off a pass from Crosby on an odd-man rush with 46 seconds left in the first period. 

Crosby scored on the power play at 7:41 of the second period to make it 2-0, and Dumoulin made it 3-0 at 11:30 with his first of this postseason. MacArthur scored with 1:38 left in the period to make it 3-1.

"I think our desperation was a little bit higher," Crosby said. "That's something last game (a 5-1 loss Wednesday) that we felt wasn't there. That was kind of a point of emphasis for us going into this game, a better start and a little more desperation in our game, and with that we got some good results."

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm4: Pyatt redirects Karlsson's slapper

Pyatt made it 3-2 with 5:01 remaining in the third period when a shot by Karlsson deflected in off him.

"They played with urgency, which was to be expected," Senators coach Guy Boucher said. "Stanley Cup champions, they bounce back in every series. 

"They were the better team tonight, for two periods, and they deserved the game. We deserved two games and we got two games, they deserved two games, and it's 2-2. That's how it is."

Murray, who was injured during warmups before Game 1 of the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets, made his 2017 playoffs debut in relief of Fleury on Wednesday.

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm4: Crosby slides home power-play goal

 

Goal of the game

Dumoulin scored when his shot went in off the skate of Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm4: Dumoulin scores off redirect in front

 

Save of the game

With the Senators trailing by one, on the power play and with Anderson on the bench for an extra attacker, Murray got his right pad on a shot by Karlsson with 10 seconds left in the third period.

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm4: Murray, Pens hold off Sens late in 3rd

 

Highlight of the game

Bobby Ryan held the puck along the right-wing boards before spinning and delivering a no-look pass onto MacArthur's stick for his goal.

Video: PIT@OTT, Gm4: MacArthur deflects home Ryan's setup

 

Unsung performances of the game

The Penguins lost defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to injury in the first period, forcing four of the remaining five to play more than 20 minutes: Maatta (24:58), Brian Dumoulin (23:29), Trevor Daley (23:03) and Ron Hainsey (20:42). Ian Cole played 19:47.

 

They said it

"As I've said all along here, this group has a knack for responding the right way to any of the adversities or the challenges that this team has been faced with. I think it always starts with our leadership. It starts with our captain (Crosby)." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

"We knew they were going to have a better game than they did in Game 3. Give them some credit. We didn't play as well as we wanted to, but at the end of the day we were still in the game. [It was] 1-0 after one, a couple of unlucky bounces in the second, that's kind of the way the night was going for us." -- Senators goaltender Craig Anderson

 

Need to know

Sullivan said Ruhwedel sustained a concussion when he was hit by Ryan with 26 seconds left in the first period. … The Penguins scored one goal in each of the first three games of this series. … Ottawa was 0-for-4 on the power play to extend its streak to 0-for-25 and nine games, dating to Game 2 of the second round against the New York Rangers. … Dumoulin scored his third goal in 45 playoff games; he has two goals in 163 NHL regular-season games. ... Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin played his 140th playoff game to tie Jaromir Jagr for most in Penguins history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Pittsburgh forward Josh Archibald played 8:11 in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut.

 

What's next

Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final on Sunday at PPG Paints Arena (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports)

 

Video: Crosby, Murray lead Pens to 3-2 win in Game 4

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