Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Wednesday that Matt Murray remains the Penguins No. 1 goaltender despite backup Casey DeSmith starting six of the team’s past seven contests.
“Right now, we’ve got two goalies,” Sullivan said to reporters, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The reality is you need two goalies in this league to win. In the big picture, is Matt our No. 1 guy? Of course he is. He’s a real good goalie and we believe in him and he’s an accomplished guy. We know he’s capable of great things.
“We’ve got a stretch of games here where we’re playing an awful lot of games and both guys are going to see time. It’s going to be important that we get Matt back on track, and that’s our intent. Certainly he’s a very important player for us.”
And now, bang! Surprise, surprise, the said No.1 goalie of the Penguins lands back on the injured reserve on Thursday as the team had to recall goaltender Tristan Jarry on an emergency basis from their American Hockey League affiliate.
At least, the Penguins finally got some positive news on Wednesday as captain Sidney Crosby returned to actions after missing three games with an upper-body injury and lead his team to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. DeSmith turned aside 18 of the 19 shots he faced in the win, which was his third straight start since Nov.10.
Sullivan noted that Murray would get a start soon as the Pens' schedule show two sets of back-to-back games over the next week. However now with him on the IR, it seems like Jarry will most likely get the call. Murray is expected to be out “longer-term” with a lower-body injury that he has been dealing with for the last couple of weeks. This came out of nowhere and reportedly surprised the team.
“I don’t think this is something we expected.”
"Matt is going to be longer-term with a lower-body injury. He was evaluated this morning. This is something that he's been dealing with for a couple of weeks. The decision was made this morning to rest and see if that gives him an opportunity to heal," explained Sullivan.
The Penguins visit the Boston Bruins on Friday night before returning to the ice at home on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.