This spring, he didn’t get into a playoff game until Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
An injury to Murray at the beginning of the postseason combined with the solid play of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury delayed the former’s appearance in these playoffs.
However, the 23-year-old goalie has not relinquished the starting duties since they were bestowed upon him again versus the Senators, and now he has a shot at making history Sunday in Nashville.
The Penguins lead the Predators 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Final.
No netminder has ever captured the Cup in each of his first two seasons in the NHL. The list of rookies who tried – and failed – is both short and impressive.
Ken Dryden. Patrick Roy. Cam Ward.
That’s it. Ward’s Hurricanes, coached by Laviolette, didn’t even make the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2007, the year after their win. Roy’s Canadiens got the closest, bowing out in the 1987 conference final. Dryden’s Habs never made it out of the first round in 1972.
The home team is 5-0 in this series, as noted many, many times since the Penguins crushed the Predators in Pittsburgh on Thursday. At the center of the road team’s struggles has been the play of their starting goalies away from home.
Pekka Rinne had two subpar starts to open the series at PPG Paints Arena, but was much better when the Predators returned to Nashville. Murray was better at home, but had a pair of tough outings on the road. Despite that, coach Mike Sullivan decided to stick with Murray for Game 5 and his team was rewarded with a 24-save shutout in a contest that soon disintegrated into a lopsided slugfest.
Now, the Penguins are on the verge of winning it all again. And Murray is on the verge of history.
“I know I personally don’t spend much time thinking about it,” Murray told NHL.com.