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Senators chase Fleury, rout Penguins in Game 3

20 May 2017

Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) defenseman Marc Methot (3) centre Zack Smith (15) centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) and right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrate a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period of game three of the Eastern Conference final in the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoffs in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

I can't say that was the case after watching the first two games of the Ottawa Senators-Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Eastern Conference Final.

Mike Hoffman kicked things off with a great read on a ricocheting puck just 48 seconds in, beating Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury right in front to put the Sens ahead 1-0. Kyle Turris' goal early in the third period was the only blemish.

Sidney Crosby had the lone marker for Pittsburgh, which has scored only three goals all series.

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MAF allowed four goals on nine shots and was pulled 13 minutes into the game. Ten players found their way onto the scoresheet for Ottawa, and five of them-Methot, Turris, Brassard, Hoffman and Bobby Ryan-recorded two points in the contest. "I would've said before the game it was going to be a one-goal game".

I agree with this decision, and yet it feels savage. We have to figure it out here as a group. You certainly take that for what it's worth, and you move on because Game 4 is not going to be that. I know we're getting some chances, but it's not coming up on the scoresheet for us. Fleury's struggles could cause the Penguins to start Murray in Game 4 on Friday. Add in the fact that he had a pretty very bad regular season, and the odds seemed good that, despite a nice run here over the past month or so, we'd see the real 2017 Fleury emerge. We have to understand that it's not going to be easy.

Fleury was replaced by Matt Murray, who improbably led the team to a Stanley Cup Final victory last season.

"To be honest I think I yelled more than once tonight, so I don't remember that time", Kessel said with a laugh. "We have skill in the room, we have grit in the room, we can play all aspects of the game if we need to but we have to go out there and understand how important it is, how urgent it is to get off to a good start".

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Dave Lozo, writing tongue-in-cheek for Vice, said the Senators are more repulsive than a naked statue of Donald Trump, along with a few other analogies best left unrepeated. "I think it brings juice to the bench". Murray came out to play well in relief Wednesday, but it's hard to really judge anything from that performance since the game was already over. Streit appeared for the first time in the playoffs. Pittsburgh, which did get Trevor Daley back from injury, also remained without injured winger Patric Hornqvist as well as No. 1 defenceman Kris Letang, who's out for the season with a neck ailment.

"They're both high-quality people and they're high-quality goaltenders. When you lose, you're always looking to see what went wrong", said Kunitz, a three-time Cup victor.

Crosby's goal in Wednesday's 5-1 loss was his first since scoring twice in Game 1 against the Washington Capitals on April 27.

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Senators chase Fleury, rout Penguins in Game 3