Murray makes his mark as Pens beat Caps

Tue May 3, 2016 12:16am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Pittsburgh Penguins do not have a goal yet in the series from Sidney Crosby. Or a power-play goal. What they do have is a 2-1 lead over the Washington Capitals.

And a player who barely played in the first five months of the season is the reason.

Rookie goalie Matt Murray made 47 saves while standing up to Capitals' avalanche of shots, and the Penguins turned two goals a minute apart in the first period into a 3-2 victory on Monday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

"It's about winning right now, and he is definitely playing well," Crosby said of Murray, who has won 12 of his last 13 starts.

Coach Mike Sullivan agreed, saying, "I thought he (Murray) was terrific. They had the puck all night -- and we didn't. They outplayed us in a lot of aspects of the game."

Game 4 will be on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl scored before the midpoint of the first period, and Carl Hagelin added a goal in the second to make it 3-0 and the Penguins, the NHL's best team over the last two months, held on to top the Capitals, easily the league's best team all season.

Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season against the Penguins in the third period, and linemate Justin Williams scored in the final minute as the Capitals tried frantically to rally.

However, it was not enough as the 21-year-old Murray, the youngest Pittsburgh goaltender to ever win in the postseason, improved to 5-1 in the playoffs.   Continued...

Washington Capitals right wing Justin Williams (14) celebrates his goal with right wing T.J. Oshie (77) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game three of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports