The Pittsburgh Penguins have been dealt another significant blow.
Already battered by injuries, they scratched Sidney Crosby (bumps and bruises) and Kris Letang (healthy) Saturday afternoon in what was likely an effort to protect two of their key players. Matt Murray made the start though and left the game following a collision with Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn.
The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t been able to use Marc-Andre Fleury since March 31 due to a concussion, but Murray has made his absence far easier for the Penguins to cope with. The 21-year-old rookie has posted a 2.05 GAA and .927 save percentage in 12 starts this season, not including Saturday’s contest.
If Murray isn’t available for the beginning of the playoffs then that further complicates the Penguins’ goaltending situation. Obviously the ideal is that Fleury will start in Game 1, but it’s not clear if that will happen.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was asked on Friday about the possibility of Fleury playing in today’s season finale and had this to say to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “It is a possibility? Yes. It is a probability? Probably not. In a perfect world, would we like to get him in a game? Sure we would. But that’s not always possible. We know Marc is making progress, and that’s a positive sign. That’s encouraging from our standpoint.”
In other words, it sounds like Fleury probably isn’t ready yet, but might be by the time the first round starts.
Meanwhile, Jeff Zatkoff replaced Murray this afternoon.
Update: Sullivan report that, “For precautionary reasons, it makes sense for us to keep (Murray) out,” per the team’s Twitter feed.