Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Murray Collects Shutout, Adds Bounce-Back Win in Game 5

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Murray Collects Shutout, Adds Bounce-Back Win in Game 5

Article excerpt

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has always praised Matt Murray's ability to bounce back from bad starts.

It showed up - maybe a game later than some expected - in the Penguins' 6-0 win in Game 5 Thursday night.

Murray stopped all 24 Nashville shots he faced, playing his part in the blowout win that gives the Penguins a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup Sunday night in Nashville.

To those stirring up a miniature goalie controversy in the two days between games, it might have come as a bit of a surprise. To Murray's teammates, not so much.

"He's got a presence about him," center Matt Cullen said. "It's fun to watch him. His belief in himself and his confidence is pretty unwavering."

Most assumed Murray's bounce-back game would be Game 4, after he gave up a postseason career-high five goals in the Game 3 blowout loss. Up until that point, Murray had never lost back-to-back playoff games in his career and only did so twice in regulation this regular season.

That's not exactly how it played out. Murray, by his own standards, played better in Game 4, but he still let in three goals, and the Predators added an empty-netter for a 4-1 victory to tie the series up heading into Game 5.

But Murray had never in his two-year career - regular season or playoffs - lost three games in a row. Unlike his back-to-back playoff streak, he made sure that one kept going Thursday night.

"From being with him for so long now, it's his ability to be calm under pressure, his maturity beyond years to understand the situation, but have that confidence," winger Chris Kunitz said. "That's something that, when you exude that, it makes people around you better."

The Penguins made sure Murray didn't have to work exceptionally hard to pick up the shutout - his third career in the playoffs - in Game 5. They jumped on the Predators early and spent most of the game in the offensive zone, with Murray being able to make just about all of his saves from the lead. …

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