Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Matt Murray came into Game 4 of the second-round matchup against the Washington Capitals riding an incredible hot streak. Over the past two games, Murray, 21, had posted a 1.50 goals-against average and .959 SP, and he looked near unbeatable in Game 3, stopping 47 of 49 shots.
In order to beat Murray in Game 4, the Capitals would have to be perfect. They would have to get Murray moving side-to-side, scrambling out of position, down-and-out — or maybe all they needed was a rolling puck and a bit of luck. That’s exactly how Washington center Jay Beagle found the back of the net early in Wednesday’s game.
Less than three minutes into Game 4, Capitals winger Tom Wilson carried the puck through the neutral zone before crossing center and flipping the puck into the left wing corner. Beagle, charging hard, got to the puck ahead of Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy. With the puck only about a foot from the goal line, Beagle took a backhanded swipe at the puck and somehow found space over Murray’s shoulder:
Beagle’s goal came on only the second shot of the game for the Capitals, and it was only the fourth time in 75 shots the Capitals had solved Murray. The scoring would go back and forth for the remainder of the contest with the Penguins taking a 2-1 lead in the second frame before John Carlson tied the game up for the Capitals.
The markers from Beagle and Carlson wouldn't be enough for the Capitals, though, as Murray shut the door in the third period and overtime. Less than three minutes into the extra frame, Patric Hornqvist scored for Pittsburgh and the Penguins won 3-2 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.