ShareThis Page
Penguins give Matt Murray night off in Buffalo | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Penguins give Matt Murray night off in Buffalo

Jonathan Bombulie
| Thursday, March 14, 2019 12:52 p.m
881625_web1_gtr-pens08-010719
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith makes a save on the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews in the second period Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 at PPG Paints Arena.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Matt Murray’s streak of consecutive starts in net for the Pittsburgh Penguins won’t hit double digits.

After turning to Murray to start the team’s previous nine games, coach Mike Sullivan will use backup Casey DeSmith in goal for Thursday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Murray was outstanding during the run of consecutive starts, going 6-1-2 with a .930 save percentage.

Sullivan said the primary motivation for starting DeSmith on Thursday is to give Murray a break.

“Matt’s had a pretty heavy workload and we’re trying to watch that,” Sullivan said. “We’re trying to keep him at his best. We’re trying to keep everybody at their best because that’s what we’re going to need to win each and every game. Casey’s been good for us.”

DeSmith hasn’t played since stopping 29 shots in a 4-0 loss to San Jose on Feb. 21. His numbers were better before Murray returned from a lower-body injury Dec. 15 (10-5-4, .923) than they have been since (4-6-1, .899).

Resting Murray against Buffalo, a team that ranks 23rd in the NHL in offense and will be without leading scorer Jack Eichel due to suspension Thursday night, opens the door for Murray to start both games of a weekend homestand with St. Louis on Saturday afternoon and Philadelphia on Sunday night.

“For a lot of reasons, Matt’s overall workload in the big picture isn’t that high, but in the short term, his workload has been a lot lately,” Sullivan said. “We’re trying to find little pockets or windows where we can give him an opportunity to recover so that he can be at his best.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.