PITTSBURGH — One of the stranger moments in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 7-0 win on Sunday afternoon came late in the first period when Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher took a page out of the Mike Keenan playbook and made multiple goalie changes within five minutes of clock time.
The first change came after Bryan Rust scored to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead with just under four minutes to play in the period, resulting in Boucher removing starter Craig Anderson and replacing him with backup Mike Condon.
After Condon played just a little more than one minute (and made a huge save on Josh Archibald), Boucher decided to go back to Anderson for the remainder of the period.
After the game, Boucher explained his thought process behind the decision. Basically, he was trying to slow down a game that was rapidly getting away from his team without having to use a timeout.
“You want to keep your timeout, you might need it later,” said Boucher. “I thought I was just trying to stall things without taking a timeout then just put him back in.”
Anderson would then give up a fourth goal after returning and was pulled for good at the start of the second period.
Boucher explained that he wanted Anderson to know he has confidence in him, but also did not want to have him play the rest of the game given where it was headed.
“He is my man, I have total confidence in him, and I want him to know that,” said Boucher. “I wanted him to go back out there. But when I saw where the game was going, well, he did not have to live that for the rest of the game.”
Anderson allowed four goals on 14 shots, while Condon allowed three goals on 22 shots.
The defending champions are one win away from once again reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
Despite numerous injury concerns, particularly on defense, the Pittsburgh Penguins came roaring out of the gate in the first period, scoring four times and chasing Craig Anderson from the Senators’ net, before cruising to a 7-0 victory on home ice.
A great start for Pittsburgh. A disastrous start for Ottawa.
The Penguins now lead the Eastern Conference Final 3-2, and they will have their first chance to eliminate the Senators on Tuesday in Ottawa.
For the second time in as many games, Olli Maatta got the Penguins on the board first. In the span of just over 10 minutes Sunday, the Penguins suddenly opened up a four-goal lead. This one was over quickly.
Sidney Crosby on the power play, Bryan Rust and Scott Wilson continued the onslaught. Anderson allowed four goals on 14 shots before giving way to Mike Condon to begin the second period.
It turned into a blowout from there.
Pittsburgh continued to add to their lead, and dominated puck possession and the shot clock against the listless Senators the rest of the way.
Adding further concern for the Senators will be the condition of captain Erik Karlsson. Having played through a foot injury in these playoffs, Karlsson left Game 5 after an awkward fall during the second period and didn’t return for the third period.
PITTSBURGH — After missing the past two games due to injury, Bryan Rust will be back in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
He will replace forward Conor Sheary who will be coming out of the lineup to make room.
Rust will start the game skating on the third-line alongside Nick Bonino and Carter Rowney.
But while the Penguins are getting a little bit of help on the injury front with the return of Rust, forward Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Justin Schultz will remain out of the lineup.
Schultz took part in the pre-game warm-up but did not take any line rushes and returned to the locker room five minutes before anyone else. With Schultz and Chad Ruhwedel (injured in Game 4) out of the lineup that means Mark Streit will be in and skate alongside Ian Cole on the team’s third pairing.
Hornqvist did not take part in the pre-game warm-up.
As for the Senators, they will go with seven defensemen on Sunday with Ben Harpur drawing into the lineup.
The Eastern Conference Finals continue on Sunday afternoon when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Ottawa Senators.
The Penguins were able to tie the series, 2-2, on Friday night in Ottawa.
Matt Murray will be back in the net for the Penguins for the second consecutive game, while injured players Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz remain game-time decisions. Rust and Schultz took part in the pre-game skate, but Hornqvist did not.
Here is all of the information you need for Sunday’s game.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Network: NBC (Stream Online Here)
PITTSBURGH — In what should be no surprise following his performance in Game 4 on Friday night, Matt Murray will be back in the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon when they return home to face the Ottawa Senators, coach Mike Sullivan announced before the game.
Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup a year ago, opened the 2017 playoffs with an injury setting the stage for Marc-Andre Fleury to regain his starting job and carry the Penguins through the first two rounds. Even when Murray was healthy Fleury was playing far too well to be removed from the lineup. That changed in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals when Fleury gave up four goals in the first period and was replaced by Murray.
Murray went on to stop 19 of the 20 shots he faced that night, then stopped 24 out of 26 on Friday night.
In other lineup news for the Penguins, Sullivan also announced that forward Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel will be out of the lineup due to injury. Ruhwedel suffered a concussion on Friday night following a hit by Bobby Ryan.
Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz will all be game-time decisions.
All three players have missed the past two games for the Penguins. While they would like to have any of them back in the lineup, Schultz’s absence is the one they are probably feeling the most given the banged up state of the defense.