Penguins goalie Matt Murray heating up as season hits stretch run | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Penguins goalie Matt Murray heating up as season hits stretch run

Jonathan Bombulie
852436_web1_gtr-pens04-030819
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes a save against the Blue Jackets’ Josh Anderson in the second period Thursday, March 7, 2019 at PPG Paints Arena.

By winning two Stanley Cup rings before his 24th birthday, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray established himself as the type of player who ramps up his game as the stakes get higher.

Murray wouldn’t say he’s the kind of guy who particularly likes playing at this time of year, though.

“I just like hockey, honestly,” he said with a grin. “All year. I like it all year.”

It’s easy to like hockey after the kind of performance Murray turned in Thursday night. He made 25 saves to backstop the Penguins to a critical 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording his fourth shutout of the year.

Murray is 5-0-2 with a .929 save percentage in his last seven starts.

“I think Murr did a great job,” defenseman Marcus Pettersson said. “Not a lot of rebounds coming off him, so it made it pretty simple for us defensemen, trying to keep it on the outside and knowing that Murr was going to take the shots.”

Murray was aided by a defense corps that played a particularly physical game. Erik Gudbranson, Jack Johnson and Zach Trotman combined for 18 hits.

It was an approach that came in handy against a Columbus team that often creates offense by getting bodies into the blue paint.

“It’s part of their identity, just getting pucks to the net with traffic,” Murray said. “For sure, they did a lot of that tonight. I think the league is trending toward that in general. It makes a goalie’s job a lot harder when you can tip or screen it. They’ve always been really good at that. I think this time of year, the game tends to tighten up and you tend to see more of that.”

Murray thought one other aspect of his team’s game played a bigger role in helping him record the shutout, however.

“We managed the puck well, which I think is key,” Murray said. “We got the puck deep when we needed to and didn’t turn pucks over. So that doesn’t give them anything off the rush, which is obviously huge, especially this time of year. That was the biggest thing. We just managed the puck really well and played a good, smart team game.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] 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.