Goalie nods: Pens to give Murray seventh career start

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Pittsburgh, in the thick of the Eastern Conference wild card race, will turn to freshman netminder Matt Murray tonight when it hosts Carolina at Consol.

Murray, 21, is considered one of the best young goaltending prospects in hockey. He’s thrived at the AHL level and was one of three goalies selected to Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, along with Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck and Anaheim’s John Gibson.

Tonight’s start is Murray’s seventh in the NHL, and first at home since a 3-2 shootout loss to Toronto on Dec. 30. He’s since spent considerable time in AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but comes back into action with pretty solid big-league numbers on the year: 3-2-1 record, 1.82 GAA and .934 save percentage.

“We believe strongly that Matt gives us a good chance to win,” Pens head coach Mike Sullivan said, per NHL.com. “He’s played extremely well for us when he’s been in there. He’s a good goalie.”

For the ‘Canes, Eddie Lack‘s in goal.

Elsewhere…

Keith Kinkaid continues to carry the Devils’ starting load with Cory Schneider out injured. Kinkaid will face the visiting Minnesota Wild tonight, and the Wild have yet to announce a starter.

Petr Mrazek is sick, so Jimmy Howard starts against the Blue Jackets. Columbus is going with Sergei Bobrovsky.

Roberto Luongo versus Jonathan Bernier as the Panthers take on the Leafs in Toronto.

— After J-F Berube played on Tuesday night, Thomas Greiss is back in goal for the Islanders. No word yet on who’s in net for the host Preds.

Ben Bishop will go for the Lightning tonight, while it looks like Kari Lehtonen is in for Dallas.

— It’s Martin Jones versus Mike Smith as the Sharks take on the Coyotes in Arizona.

Henrik Lundqvist is in for the Rangers tonight in Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick is likely for the Kings.