Sports Pens turn back to Murray for Game 4

01:36  20 may  2017
01:36  20 may  2017 Source:   MSN

Penguins’ Murray returns from injury, will back up Fleury in Game 7

  Penguins’ Murray returns from injury, will back up Fleury in Game 7 The Pittsburgh Penguins got some good news Wednesday, as Matt Murray will serve as backup for Game 7 against the Washington Capitals.Coach Sullivan says Matt Murray is progressing and is healthy enough to back up tonight.

After getting benched for Game 5, the 21-year-old rookie returns with the Penguins facing elimination.

It was Murray this time getting pulled in favor of Fleury in the middle of a game (2016's Game 4 of the ECF) that the Pens would lose to tie the Sullivan quickly went back to Murray and the team rallied to win the final two games of the series- with Murray giving up only 3 total goals in the two games.

OTTAWA - Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan would not elaborate much on the decision, but he did confirm that goaltender Matt Murray would start Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final on Friday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

"That's a decision we made," Sullivan said Friday afternoon at the team's downtown hotel. "We made it for Game 4. We'll see how it goes."

Murray's last start was April 6 before he was sidelined with a lower-body injury through much of the spring. The Penguins needed a win Friday to pull even in the best-of-seven series.

The 22-year-old netminder made his first appearance of the playoffs in Game 3 against Ottawa. He stopped 19 of 20 shots in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, who gave up four goals on nine shots en route to a 5-1 loss.

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Elijah Hood ' turned heads' at rookie minicamp. Giants to teach Engram traditional TE duties. However, until Murray is back , Pittsburgh is playing without a safety net when it comes to its The Pens and Caps meet Wednesday night in Washington for the seventh and deciding game of their

Should they play Matt Murray or Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night? Murray has been incredibly resilient and strong to the this point when given the chance to bounce back , and it might be a good idea for the Pens to turn back to their young

Murray took over from Fleury late last season and helped deliver the Penguins their fourth Stanley Cup. He performed well as the club's No. 1 goalie this season — posting a .923 save percentage in 49 games — but could face some rust after a lengthy absence from the crease.

Sullivan hoped his relief appearance would be helpful in that respect.

"Each time I've gotten hurt, I've come back stronger and that's all you can do," Murray said Thursday after practice at the University of Ottawa.

Goaltending hasn't really been the problem for Pittsburgh of late, Game 3 aside.

Fleury had been excelling as the starter, pitching shutouts in Game 2 against the Senators and Game 7 of a second-round series against Washington. He had a .924 save percentage in 15 playoff starts this spring.

Fleury or Murray: Who should the Penguins start in Game 4?

  Fleury or Murray: Who should the Penguins start in Game 4? After allowing four goals-against in less than 13 minutes Wednesday night, Marc-Andre Fleury was replaced by Matt Murray the rest of the way. This has opened up the question: who should start in Game 4?Is it time for Pittsburgh to switch goalies?

True to themselves, Sens looking more like team of destiny. Penguins could turn to Murray for Game 4 . Statistically Speaking: Sens steamroll Pens . The 22-year-old was healthy enough to back up in Fleury in Game 7 against the Washington Capitals but saw his first action of the 2017 playoffs on

Some have suggested Murray , who was pulled after giving up for game in Game 4 but still has a .923 save percentage in the playoffs, deserved to start Game 5 at home based on his play to date. So back to Murray they go. “It’s a tough situation,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the decision to turn away from the 32-year-old was "very difficult", adding that Fleury took it like a professional. He wouldn't share what he relayed to the longtime Pittsburgh netminder.

"We never take these decisions lightly," Sullivan said. "They're extremely difficult decisions and this is the choice that we made for Game 4."

He added: "It's a good difficult decision to have because we have two guys that are as capable as they are. And both of these guys have helped this team win all year long."

Fleury said Thursday that he was enjoying another playoff run and hoped it (and his Penguins career perhaps) would not come to an end after Game 3.

  Pens turn back to Murray for Game 4 © Provided by

"It's not going to go 16 games in a row perfectly," said Fleury, a likely candidate to move elsewhere this summer with the expansion draft lying ahead next month.

How Murray handles his first starting assignment in more six weeks will certainly be a focus for Pittsburgh in Game 4, but the club's offence is also a priority. The highest scoring team during the regular season, the Penguins were held to three goals over three games against the frustrating Senators.

Pittsburgh's Justin Schultz, Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist all remain out with injuries.

The Senators, meanwhile, said Alex Burrows would be a game-time decision for Game 4. The 35-year-old exited Game 3 with an apparent left leg injury.

Defenceman Mark Borowiecki is still not ready to return from a leg injury. He's hopeful that he can come back later in the series.

"I've been working out hard — really really hard. I don't feel too far off there," Borowiecki said of his conditioning level. "You've just got to get used to that skating motion again and what that does to your legs and your body. Obviously you can't really replicate it off the ice."

The 27-year-old hasn't played since Game 2 of Ottawa's first-round series against Boston.

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