With still no indication from head coach Mike Sullivan, multiple signs are pointing to Matt Murray as the likely starter for the Pittsburgh Penguins ahead of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
According to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, Murray was in the starting net for morning skate which usually indicates who will be standing in goal when the puck drops. Other sources share the same views as Rosen.
Murray is in the net the Penguins will defend twice, an indication he will be starting tonight.
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPGH) May 24, 2016
After leading the Pens through the playoffs and into the Eastern Conference Finals, the reins were handed back to Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5. Fleury stopped 21 of 25 shots and didn’t get a lot of support in front of him on the way to a 4-3 loss in Game 5.
The loss put the Penguins in a tough spot heading back to Tampa Bay down 3-2 in the series and on the verge of elimination.
So far in 13 playoff games, Murray has a 9-4 record with a 2.33 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. He’s made some timely saves to help the Penguins steal a couple of games down the stretch.
While Sullivan is yet to confirm the reports, this could be the biggest game of the 21-year-old’s career. With the Lightning just one game away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year, it’ll take everything the Penguins have – Murray included – to stop Tampa Bay’s offence.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.