OTTAWA -- Trailing in a playoff series for the first time this postseason, the reigning champion Pittsburgh Penguins made a goalie change, with Matt Murray starting Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday in place of Marc-Andre Fleury.
The game marked Murray's first start this postseason after he was injured during warm-ups before the first game of the playoffs against the Blue Jackets. Last spring, he helped lead the Penguins to a Stanley Cup with a 15-6 playoff record, posting a .923 save percentage.
"That's been a hard decision for this coaching staff all year long," Sullivan said of choosing between Fleury and Murray. "It's a good, difficult decision to have, because we have two guys that are as capable as they are. Both these guys have helped this team win all year long."
Fleury is one of the biggest reasons the Penguins have advanced as far as they have this spring while banged up throughout the lineup. He has a 9-6 record with a .924 save percentage in the postseason. He struggled in Game 3, a 5-1 loss, allowing four goals on nine shots against the Senators.
Sullivan said Fleury handled the demotion like a professional. Neither goalie was available to the media on the morning of Game 4, as is customary for Penguins goalies on game day.
"These guys are both competitors," Sullivan said. "They both want to be in net; we don't always expect them to agree with our decisions."