Matt Murray Dazzles Again

Pens goalie makes big saves in game 1 against Caps

Jeff Hathhorn
April 27, 2018 - 9:30 am

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON D.C. (93.7 the Fan) - What more?  What more can a 23-year-old goalie do?  Matt Murray is a two-time Stanley Cup champion as a rookie and was amazing again Thursday night.  It wasn’t just that the Pens starter stopped the other 32 shots after allowing goals on odd-man rushes early in the first and third periods.  It was how he did it.

It was something we have yet to see, a pair of saves where Murray was beaten, but he was able to scramble over and stop Washington’s Devante Smith-Pelly in the second period and then Brett Connolly in the third.  These saves Murray used the pad on his hand that was holding the stick.

“Yeah, it was like déjà vu, it was the exact same play.” Murray said.  “It was through a screen, so I couldn’t really pick out the first shot.  I wasn’t able to control the rebound and it went to the guy wide open back door and I just tried to get something on it.”

“You just try to be fluid and react quickly.  Those are tough.  They are through traffic, so it’s hard to keep that rebound where you want it to go.  Just tried to battle and get something on it.”

“I remember that save in the third at the end, it was great,” said Pens forward Derick Brassard.  “He kept us in the game.” 

“It’s critical,” said Pens head coach Mike Sullivan.  “It’s hard to win this time of year if you don’t get a timely save and Matt did that for us tonight.”

That’s 27 wins for Matt Murray in the post-season, 980 saves or a goals against average of two, and a save percentage approaching .930.

“He does it time and time again for us,” Sullivan said.  “And I think that is why he is as accomplished as he is as a young goalie.  I thought he was locked in all night long.  He made some big saves for us especially when they were pressing down the stretch the last six or seven minutes of the third period.  He made some big, timely saves for us.  When you get those types of saves, it’s easy to play with confidence in front of him.”

There is no doubting the soft-talking Murray’s confidence, nor the focus for a kid that was just cleared to drink two years ago.

“Tough building to win in obviously against a good team, so we will take it,” Murray said.  “We will learn from it and move on to the next one.”