OTTAWA -- In desperate need of a win, the Pittsburgh Penguins built a lead and then hung on to defeat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Friday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
The victory evened the Eastern Conference Final at 2-2, with Game 4 set for Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
Olli Maatta, Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead before the Senators replied with a Clarke MacArthur goal late in the second period.
Making his first playoff start since his Cup-winning victory last spring, Matt Murray made 24 saves for the Penguins.
Craig Anderson stopped 32 shots in the Senators' net.
The Senators threatened to come back all the way when Tom Pyatt deflected an Erik Karlsson point shot between Murray's legs at 14:59 of the third period.
The Penguins took their second too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty of the game with 34 seconds left, but the Senators couldn't capitalize with the goalie pulled.
The Penguins drew first blood in the last minute of the opening period. Off a three-on-two break, Crosby found Maatta streaking down the left wing. Maatta snapped a shot that beat Anderson on the stick side. The goal, Maatta's first of the playoffs, came at 19:14.
Crosby put the Penguins up 2-0 on a power play at 7:41 of the second. Standing to Anderson's left, he received a cross-slot pass from Jake Guentzel, and with a second whack he squeezed the puck past the goalie's skate. It was Crosby's sixth goal of the postseason.
Dumoulin's first goal of the playoffs at 11:30 of the second was a lucky one. He fired a shot from the left point that was going wide, but the puck hit the skate of Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who was looking the other way, and ricocheted into an open net.
The Senators managed to get one back at 18:22 of the second when Bobby Ryan passed from the right-wing boards and found MacArthur for an easy tip-in. The goal was MacArthur's third of the playoffs.
NOTES: Penguins G Matt Murray replaced Marc-Andre Fleury, who had started every other Pittsburgh game in the playoffs but was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots in Game 3. ... With a goal and an assist, Penguins C Sidney Crosby now has 18 points (10 goals) in 12 career playoff games at Canadian Tire Centre. ... Senators LW Alex Burrows missed his first game of the playoffs with a lower-body injury. ... Senators LW Tommy Wingels returned to the lineup to replace Burrows. ... Penguins C Evgeni Malkin played his 140th playoff game, tying him with former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr for the franchise lead.