Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said rookie netminder Matt Murray, and not veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, will start Game 6 for the Penguins Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center. Fleury, who won a Stanley Cup for the Pens in 2009, has not played since March 31.
“For us I don’t think it changes much,” Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney said. “Obviously, they are different goalies and it would be a little bit of a different look if they went with Fleury. But for us to score goals we’ve got to get pucks to the net and get traffic to the net. That’s the only way to score this time of year. It doesn’t change with who’s in net.”
Murray, 21, has been a revelation in the post-season with a 6-2 record, 1.96 GAA, and .937 save percentage. On Saturday night at Verizon Center Murray surrendered three goals on 19 shots in the Caps’ 3-1 win.
That was not enough for Sullivan to change his opinion of Murray. But if the Capitals can get to Murray in Game 6, the pressure to play Fleury in Game 7 will be increased significantly by the fans in Pittsburgh.
Caps backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer was thrown into Game 2 of the Capitals’ first-round series against the Islanders last spring, but noted that he had played several games for the Hershey Bears before making that start.
Fleury has not played a game in 40 days. He sat out the final five games of the regular season and the Penguins’ first seven playoff games after suffering a second concussion on march 31. Fleury, 31, has dressed as Murray’s backup in Games 3, 4 and 5.
Fleury has a career playoff record of 53-44 with a 2.65 GAA and .906 save percentage
“I think it would be hard for sure,” Grubauer said. “It’s one thing practicing; it’s another thing getting into game shape and getting game ready. I don’t know what they’re doing. It’s their decision. I can say it’s tough. He had a really good stretch before he got injured and then he gets hurt. It’s not the same when you practice and get put in a game, but he’s been in the league long enough. It’s not his first time getting injured so he has some experience with that I’m sure.”