OTTAWA (AP) — Matt Murray was back — and so was Sidney Crosby.
Crosby had a goal and an assist, Murray made 22 saves in his first start of the playoffs and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Friday night to even the Eastern Conference final at 2-2.
Crosby had only one point as the defending champion Penguins dropped two of the first three, leading to questions about his health following a jarring concussion in the second round.
“I think he leads by example and I thought he had one of his best games tonight,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “But it doesn’t just stop with Sid, it goes down the bench.”
Murray started for the first time in more than six weeks.
“All I can really do is kind of jump in and try not to think about it,” Murray said. “Just try and play with the flow of the game and kind of let yourself get lost in the game a little bit. I thought I did a pretty good job of that tonight. There’s a lot of ways I could have been a lot better I thought, but all together felt good about the game.”
Sullivan turned to Murray after Marc-Andre Fleury was chased in the first period Wednesday night in the Penguins’ 5-1 loss in Game 3.
“I thought Matt was solid,” Sullivan said. “He made some timely saves for us when we needed it. He has a calm demeanor about him. I thought he was tracking the puck extremely well. And certainly, he made a couple of key saves for us at key times.”
Brian Dumoulin and Olli Maatta added goals to help Pittsburgh take a 3-0 lead midway through the second period. Clarke MacArthur and Tom Pyatt scored for Ottawa.
“They were the better team tonight for two periods and they deserved the game,” Senators coach Guy Boucher…