The AHL announced that 20-year-old Penguins prospect is the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which is given annually to the league’s top goaltender. That’s in addition to being named the rookie of the year and appearing on both the AHL All-Rookie Team and AHL All-Star First Team.
Murray posted a 1.51 GAA and .943 save percentage in 39 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2014-15. He also earned 12 shutouts, which is the second highest total of any goaltender in the AHL’s 79-year history. Along the way he established a new AHL record for the longest shutout streak with his stretch of 304:11 minutes of perfect play.
He was taken with the 83rd overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
The Islanders secured a 4-1 victory over Washington in Game 1 with Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, and Brock Nelson leading the charge. If John Tavares gets hot in Game 2, then New York might find itself in a commanding position by the end of the night, although we might end up seeing Alex Ovechkin respond instead. Meanwhile goaltender Jaroslav Halak now has a 2.23 GAA and .941 save percentage in seven career playoff games against Washington.
Blackhawks at Predators, 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
It took 87:49 minutes to settle Game 1, but in the end Chicago completed its comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Along the way Patrick Kane recorded two power-play assists in his return from a broken clavicle. Chicago struggled to convert on its power-play chances after the All-Star break, but the return on Kane might have ended that issue, which is yet another thing Nashville has to worry about.
Flames at Canucks, 10:00 p.m. ET on CNBC
Down 1-0 going into the second intermission, the Flames rallied in the final frame and Kris Russell scored the winner with just 30 seconds remaining in Game 1 on Wednesday. The Flames were one of the best teams in the league when it came to battling back from a deficit in the third period over the course of the regular season, but they obviously don’t want to make a habit of it in the playoffs. The Flames might not be so fortunate this time around if they fall behind again.
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If the Penguins could change anything about their performance in tonight’s 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers, it would probably be their lack of discipline in the first period. After all, when assistant coach Gary Agnew had to give his three impressions of the game, here was number one, per the Penguins’ website:
The first period, you can’t take four minor penalties. It just kills your momentum if you had any, but obviously giving up the early goals, especially the early goal, they fed off their crowd and got rolling pretty good with the momentum and t8hat caused us to take those penalties. We’ve got to be more disciplined.
And if you need further convincing:
Lovejoy, Perron, Scuderi and Fleury were all highly critical of the team for taking too many penalties.
It sounds straightforward, but this isn’t a new issue for the Penguins. In the regular season they had the second most minor penalties in the league with 349 and their 13.7 PIM per game was higher than any other team. If not for an impressive 84.8 penalty killing percentage, they likely wouldn’t have gotten to the playoffs in the first place, but penalties hurt even when you don’t surrender a goal.
Tonight was a good example of that as the Rangers took the lead just 28 seconds into the contest and the Penguins basically had to wait until the second frame before they could attempt to get back into the game because they spent a good chunk of the first playing a man short.
Perhaps Pittsburgh will change its game, but given that this has been a persistent problem this season, there’s certainly cause to suspect this might also be an ongoing narrative in the series.