Ryan Dadoun

Hockey Daily Dose

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Penguins' Offense Wakes Up

Friday, May 19, 2017


The big question going into Friday was who the Pittsburgh Penguins would pick as their starter.  Ultimately they went with Matt Murray, but the real focus should have been on the Penguins’ offense.  Murray was solid last night, but there was a very good chance that Marc-Andre Fleury would have bounced back had he been given the opportunity, so who Pittsburgh started might have ultimately been a moot debate given that both of the netminders were more than qualified.

 

The bigger issue for the Penguins was their inability to break through the Senators’ defense over the first three games of this series.  Pittsburgh scored three goals in those first three games, but added another three goals in Game 4 alone.  More than who was playing between the pipes, that’s the reason why the Penguins won.

 

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PENGUINS 3 SENATORS 2

Series tied at 2-2

 

The Penguins built their lead slowly, but by 11:30 of the second period they had established a 3-0 lead.  Ottawa crept back in to keep things interesting, but even as the Senators were trailing in the third frame they couldn’t pull ahead too much in terms of shots as Ottawa only outshot Pittsburgh 10-7 in the third and the Penguins outshot the Senators 35-26 overall.

 

The bad news for Pittsburgh is that defenseman Chad Ruhwedel suffered a concussion.  The Penguins’ blueline has already been battered by injuries, so missing him too will further test their depth.

 

Brian Dumoulin netted the game-winning goal.  It was his first marker and third point in 16 playoff games.

 

Sidney Crosby scored a goal and registered an assist.  That gives the Penguins star six goals and 17 points in 15 postseason games.

 

Olli Maatta accounted for the Penguins’ other marker.  The 22-year-old defenseman has a goal and six points in 16 contests in the 2017 playoffs.  As an aside, he’s already played in 47 postseason games despite his youth.  He ranks 32nd on the all-time list in terms of playoff games played through the age of 22.

 

Jake Guentzel assisted on two of Pittsburgh’s three goals.  He’s had a great playoff run, but had been held to no points and a minus-four rating in the first three games of the Eastern Conference Final.

 

Clarke MacArthur found the back of the net for Ottawa.  It was his third goal and eighth point in 16 contests in the playoffs.

 

Tom Pyatt scored with 5:01 minutes left in the third period to put the Senators within one.  He has two goals and no assists in 11 postseason games.

 

Matt Murray kicked out 24 of 26 Senators shots.  This was his first start of the 2017 playoffs after exiting the pregame warmups prior to the Penguins’ playoff opener due to an injury.  After his solid performance last night, he’ll probably start again in Game 5.

 

Craig Anderson stopped 32 of 35 shots on Friday.  That ended a streak of four games where he surrendered two or less goals.



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
Email :Ryan Dadoun



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