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Marc-Andre Fleury replaces Murray in third period; who starts Game 5?

A 4-0 deficit after two periods was enough for Mike Sullivan to make a change in net for the final period.

Leading out the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third period of Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning was Marc-Andre Fleury, not Matt Murray. The appearance was Fleury’s first since March 31 after he was sidelined with a concussion. He would stop all seven shots he faced in relief of Murray, who allowed four goals on 30 shots.

"I thought he was solid," Sullivan said afterward. "I thought he looked good. He was moving well. He made a couple of saves. So I thought it was solid."

Whether it was desperation or the change in goal, the Penguins responded in the final 20 minutes against Tampa, scoring three times but ultimately falling short 4-3. The two sides will head back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 with the series tied at two.

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"We're down four goals. Sometimes when you make a change like that, it has an impact on your team," Sullivan said. "You know, I thought the goals that we gave up, they were good goals on their part. You know, Matt made some big saves in there. But certainly, sometimes when you make that decision, it can have an influence  on your team moving forward, and it gave Marc a chance to get into some game action and get an opportunity to experience that."

The next 48 hours will see much debate over who Sullivan should start in goal Sunday night. Afterward, he said he hadn’t even thought about that question yet, but the answer is pretty clear: Stick with Murray and keep the Fleury card in your pocket should things get dicey again and you need to shake up your team.

Murray has been fine this postseason as he’s helped guide the Penguins to within two wins of playing for the Stanley Cup. Let him shake off those first two periods by going back out for Game 5 and let him give a response to his play. Giving Fleury that third period was important for him to get back into game mode and for the Penguins to know their long-time No. 1 is back to his old self.

Who would you start in Game 5 for the Penguins?

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!



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