Eastern Conference finals: Penguins at Senators, Game 4, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN (Senators lead 2-1) — The Penguins’ defense and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury disappeared early in Game 3, giving up an astounding four goals in the game’s first 13 minutes. That led coach Mike Sullivan to pull Fleury for Matt Murray. The collapse was even more surprising because the Pens had yielded only one goal in regulation in the first two games of the series. Sullivan will announce the Game 4 starter in goal after Friday morning’s skate.
In the aftermath on the ice in Nashville, it was particularly symbolic then that Murray took his victory lap cue from the mentor he’s now twice supplanted as starter: Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury, Pittsburgh’s franchise goalie ever since he went No. 1 overall in 2003, was the seventh player to take the Cup in the Penguins’ procession. He set the foundation for the postseason run when Murray was lost for two rounds with an ankle injury only to cede the crease again in a goaltending swap that served as turning point in the Eastern Conference finals. Their exchange should have been awkward, Fleury almost certainly having played in his last game as a Penguin because Murray took his job.
It instead will serve as an enduring moment for a tutor and the understudy.
“Flower is the biggest reason why we even got here,” Murray said of Fleury in a postgame interview with NHL Network. “He’s been a special person for me, a huge mentor. The fact that he Cheap Zetterberg Jerseys passed me the Cup there … you know, I rank way down at the bottom and I got it ahead Design Cheap Jerseys Online of some of the other guys.