Marc-Andre Fleury has been brilliant so far in these Stanley Cup playoffs, but on Wednesday night in Game 3, Matthew Murray made his first appearance in net since sustaining a lower-body injury.  Fleury was pulled after allowing four goals in the first thirteen minutes of Game 3.  The Penguins eventually went on to lose by a score of 5-1, with frustration brewing in the locker room after the game.  Veteran Matt Cullen believed that the effort was not evident in the loss.

Fleury has posted a record of 9-6 in these playoffs with a goals against average of 2.56 and a save percentage of .924.  In last years’ playoffs, Murray had a similar save percentage of .923.

Head coach Mike Sullivan has not named the starter for Game 4, but the Penguins have much bigger issues to worry about.

Lack of scoring

Craig Anderson has looked super human in this series so far, allowing only three goals in the process.  The Ottawa Senators’ style of play has caused the Penguins to slow down their game drastically, which is leading to less chances off the rush.  The neutral zone has also been clogged, taking away the Pens’ explosive speed.

In order for the Penguins to score more goals, they have to get traffic in front of Anderson and fire away.  The Pens made Vezina trophy finalists Sergei Bobrovsky and Braden Holtby look average at best in the first two rounds of these playoffs, but haven’t been able to figure out Anderson.

There have been three goals scored by the Penguins in this series and unlike last year, depth scoring is nonexistent.  If the Penguins want to win the Eastern Conference Final, it will have to be on the back of the stars.

Defensive core

The Penguins are currently without two of their top three puck-moving defenders.  Kris Letang and Justin Schultz create offense from the blue line, but without them, the Pens’ defensemen look tired and worn out.

The Penguins have shown great character and resilience all season long, but the injuries might finally be starting to catch up to them.

Who starts Game 4

Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray are both proven champions.  The Pens have the luxury of having two elite goaltenders and head coach Mike Sullivan has done a great job dealing with the situation.  If not for Fleury, the Penguins could have been defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1, and certainly by the Washington Capitals in Round 2.

Fleury deserves to start, but seeing Matt Murray between the pipes on Friday night would not be a surprise.  After all, he did win a Stanley Cup just last spring.

Expect the Penguins to bounce back in Game 4, as they have only lost consecutive playoff games under Mike Sullivan twice.

This article first appeared on and was syndicated with permission.


MLB to limit mound visits from players and coaches in 2018

Anthony Rizzo opens up about vigil speech: 'Hardest thing I ever had to do'

Silver: 2019 All-Star draft likely to be televised

Jeremy Lin defends JJ Redick over perceived racial slur

Shiffrin’s boyfriend sent home from Olympics after post-race remarks


Joey Votto is sick of losing

Giannis vows to stay with Bucks

Peter King believes Kirk Cousins will end up with Broncos

Teddy Bridgewater calls 2017 ‘my favorite season by far’

Gus Kenworthy happy NBC televised him kissing boyfriend

New format leads to competitive NBA All-Star Game

Top 30 NFL free agents

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Ten bold predictions for 2018 MLB season

Wil Myers has a tough adjustment ahead of him

10 NFL offseason moves that need to happen

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

Champions League Round of 16 preview, predictions

Signing A.J. McCarron would be a typical Browns move

Big surprises, disappointments heading into NBA All-Star break

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Top 30 NFL free agents

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

The 'Hope springs eternal' quiz

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

The 'My Bronny valentine' quiz

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker