The Penguins were embarrassed 5-1 by the Senators in Game 3 of the NHL's Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, and now Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is under fire after a rough outing.
Within the first 12:52 of the hockey game, the Senators jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre, sending the home crowd into an absolute frenzy. Senators head coach Guy Boucher declared the forward a game-time decision. Anderson has allowed just one goal per game against the Pens and has a.963 save percentage. Following Wednesday, Fleury's three worst games of the playoffs have been Game 4 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, Game 6 against the Capitals and, obviously, Game 3 against the Senators.
The Senators lead the series 2-1, getting off to a tremendous start in Game 3 and essentially cruising from there for the win. After Senators defenseman Marc Methot took a shot, the puck bounced off both MAF and Cole, before sliding into the net. All that is truly clear through three games of the series is this: Both these teams have gotten this far despite discernible, exploitable weaknesses, and when they are located either team can find itself playing uphill all night. That may be true, but when you consider his whole season, this has more to do with regression than some miracle resurgence for a guy having a bad year. We just have to go out there and execute it and do our job.
"For me, the takeaway is you can't lose the first period by four goals and think you're going to win". They're extremely hard decisions. "I put that one behind (me) already and I'll be ready to go". "They're terrific goalies, and we're fortunate that we have these guys as part of our team".
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan had seen enough after the fourth goal, giving Murray the nod and Fleury the hook. Ottawa's trapping style may be derided by some as "boring", but the Penguins would do well to copy the Senators' approach for the foreseeable future.
(To be fair, something about the way Ottawa plays seems allergic to trying to score goals.) Still, Pittsburgh is just about half a team right now, Crosby is still riding a pointless streak, they have no idea who will be on defense at this point and they managed to even this series at 1-1. And if those defensive problems aren't fixed, then it won't matter who plays in net.
Sullivan doesn't plan on naming a starter until after his team's skate on Friday morning. He posted a.923 save percentage this season while starting 47 games. When it came time for Game 5, Sullivan went with the shakeup in goal, throwing Fleury out to start.
No practice once again for injured players Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust, and Justin Schultz. Streit appeared in his first game of the playoffs. The Penguins are champions, and Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel and whatever else they have could come back and take Game 4, sure. Even when they did give up scoring chances, Anderson was dialed in and there to make the saves. It's never going to get easier from winning the very first game of a series or winning the last game.style="text-align: center;"