Sidney Crosby helps Penguins beat Flyers; goalie Matt Murray injured
In the span of a little more than an hour Monday night, the Penguins experienced an exhilarating victory over their biggest rival and a potentially terrifying injury.
Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime, but No. 1 goalie Matt Murray left with an injury as the Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4, at PPG Paints Arena.
The Flyers have lost eight consecutive games. The Penguins have won two in a row.
The winning goal was classic Crosby, who has broken out of a scoring slump with four goals and five assists in his last four games. Parked on the goal line to the left of goaltender Brian Elliott at the end of an overtime power play, Crosby presented his stick as a target for point man Kris Letang.
"I had a thought that he might come to me, but ultimately, it's up to the guy with the puck to see what's there," Crosby said.
When Letang saw the Flyers defense had taken away the front of the net as an option, there was no doubt in his mind what he was doing with the puck.
"Over the years, he was working on tipping pucks and tough angles like this, kind of beating the goalie behind him," Letang said. "He became really good at it."
Murray was injured late in the second period.
He folded awkwardly under his own body weight while colliding with Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek, who was driving to the net on a breakaway. Murray had to be helped off the ice by teammates. He appeared to be favoring his right leg.
Coach Mike Sullivan said Murray would be evaluated further Tuesday.
With Murray out, 22-year-old Tristan Jarry is the Penguins' top goaltender. He has performed well in limited NHL duty, going 2-0-2 this season, but Monday night's appearance, which saw him stop 8 of 10 shots, was just the fifth of his career.
"If that is what becomes the scenario, then Tristan's going to have to make timely saves for us game in and game out," Sullivan said. "We believe he can do that."
Next on the depth chart is 26-year-old rookie Casey DeSmith, who has made one NHL appearance. A lengthy absence for Murray would compel general manager Jim Rutherford to at the very least consider adding goaltending depth.
In the meantime, do his teammates have confidence that Jarry can handle the load?
"We're going to have to have some," Letang said. "We do. Since he played his first game, we see what kind of goaltender we've got behind Matt. We're totally comfortable."
Murray's injury happened during a terrible second period for the Penguins.
Before Murray left, he gave up a five-on-three power play goal to Shayne Gostisbehere and a goal to Travis Konecny in traffic as the Flyers took a 2-1 lead. Sean Couturier greeted Jarry with a blistering one-timer after a bad Penguins clear to make it 3-1.
Stunningly, the Flyers also hit the crossbar four times in the period.
"Everybody felt like we went away from our plan and it cost us," Letang said.
The Penguins scored three big goals in the third period to make a comeback.
Patric Hornqvist converted the rebound of a Conor Sheary power-play shot, and Bryan Rust knocked in his own rebound on a breakaway in a 39-second span early. A Justin Schultz pass from the blue line deflected in off the body of Jake Guentzel for his second goal of the game with Jarry pulled with 1:04 left to force overtime.
"I think there's plenty of evidence, throughout the course of this game, for our guys to better understand when play the game a certain way, how we can have success," Sullivan said, "and when we get away from it, how we can be very ordinary."
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.