Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry to start vs. Flyers; Kris Letang, Justin Schultz set to return
PHILADELPHIA – In a mildly surprising move, rookie goalie Tristan Jarry will get the nod over starter Matt Murray when the Penguins visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
It's the first time this season that Murray did not start when he was healthy and the Penguins weren't in the middle of a set of games on back-to-back days.
Murray is coming off a 19-save performance in a 4-1 loss at Detroit on Sunday night. He's 14-11-1 with a .902 save percentage this season.
Jarry is coming off a 31-save showing in a 2-1 loss at Carolina on Friday. He's 5-3-2 with a .921 save percentage this year.
“We thought (Jarry's) last start was very strong. He's played some really good games for us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “And I think it gives Matt an opportunity to spend time with (goalie coach Mike Buckley) and just reset his mindset, get back to some of the basics of his game that we think are important that helps him be at his best. But certainly, this is all just part of the process.”
Murray has made six career starts against the Flyers and has left two of them with injuries.
On Nov. 27 of this season, he suffered a lower-body injury when Jakub Voracek slid feet-first into his crease. In the last game of the 2015-16 regular season, Murray suffered a concussion when he was kneed in the head by Brayden Schenn.
The Penguins also could get a double dose of defensemen back in the lineup when they face the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
Both Kris Letang and Justin Schultz, who have been out with lower-body injuries, were full participants in morning skate. Letang was paired with Brian Dumoulin and Schultz skated with Ian Cole. Both took part in special teams drills.
Both will be considered game-time decisions, coach Mike Sullivan said.
Neither Letang nor Schultz is having a career year. Letang is among NHL defenseman scoring leaders with 25 points in 37 games, but he's a minus-15. Schultz has 10 points in 23 games after turning in a 51-point season a year ago.
Both are elite puck movers, however, so their presence could help a Penguins offense that has managed one goal or fewer in five of its last nine games.
“When they're not in our lineup, it's fairly evident we don't come out of our end zone as clean,” Sullivan said. “We don't have the puck tape-to-tape as often. That's what these guys bring to our team. They see the ice really well. They're both mobile guys. They can get back to pucks quickly.”
Schultz has been out since Dec. 5. Letang has been out since Dec. 23.