Penguins Look to Take Series Lead with Game 5 Win
The Tampa Bay Lightning was able to win Game 4 of their NHL Eastern Conference Finals best of seven series on Friday 4-3. The Lightning accomplished everything in Game 4 they could not do in Games 2 and 3 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tampa Bay attacked early and often which led to an early goal. The Lightning maintained their speed and applied pressure on the Penguins leading to a 4-0 lead.
Pittsburgh’s 3-goal rally in the third period came up short, which leveled the series at 2-2.
The Penguins might have to play Game 5 without Trevor Daley an important part of their defense. He injured his lower body during the second period of Friday’s Game 4 after crashing into the boards. Following that play, he could not put weight on his leg.
Daley’s playing status was not updated on Saturday by Pittsburgh, but he was on crutches Friday night following the game. If Daley is unable to play, the likely candidate that will step into his spot is Olli Maatta. The last three games, Maatta has been a healthy scratch.
Maatta does not play as aggressively as Daley does, nor is he as fast up the ice.
Some good news for Pittsburgh is that Evgeni Malkin a top scorer for the Penguins all season could be heating back up. He scored during Game 4, which ended a goal drought of eight games.
Tampa Bay winger Jonathan Drouin scored during Game 4 after he was demoted in Game 3 to the Lightning’s fourth line.
His aggressive back checking helped to stop Eric Fehr a Pittsburgh forward from having a shorthanded, clean breakaway.
The precocious postseason playing of Pittsburgh rookie goalie Matt Murray abruptly stopped during Game 4 when his coach pulled home following the second period, with the Pens trailing 4-0.
Murray’s replacement Marc-Andre Fleury was well rested and playing for only the first time in more than seven weeks.
Fleury stopped the seven shots he faced during the third period.
A starter for Game 5 in goal for Pittsburgh has yet to be announced by the team. The team will feel equally confident with whichever goalie the coaches decided will best help them win Game 5 on Sunday.
Tampa Bay is not concerned with which players is between the pipes for the Penguins, the Lightning want to come out like they did in Game 4 during the first and second period to established a lead and keep their confidence at a high level.