The Pittsburgh Penguins will shake things up, giving Marc-Andre Fleury the start in Game 5 at Consol Energy Center, coach Mike Sullivan announced Sunday.
It’s the goaltender’s first start since March 31, when he went out with a concussion and ceded the net to 21-year-old Matt Murray. The rookie has only played 13 regular season contests and 13 playoff games in his career, but has shown great resilience and put up a strong .923 save percentage.
“He gets it. He’s a mature kid. If and when he’s called upon to go back in the net, he’ll go back in the net,” said Sullivan.
The change comes on the heels of a poor showing for Murray in Game 4, where he allowed four goals on 30 shots. Fleury relieved Murray in the third, stopping all seven shots he faced while the Penguins put up a three-goal rally, coming within a goal of tying the game late.
Crosby on Fleury:"Works hard everyday he's out there regardless of the situation. Those are the type of guys you love to have on your team."
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 22, 2016
“Lots of things went into the decision,” Sullivan said. “We had lengthy discussions. It’s an important decision for our hockey team. We’re trying to make the best decisions that we can that we think give our team the best chances to win, and that’s the route we’ve chosen to take.”
Injecting the team’s starter back into the net could be a kick from behind for the Penguins. It may be, in part, a move on Sullivan’s part to get the team to rally, realize what’s at stake, and get excited about having a key part of the team back on the ice.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.