Pens announce Murray as Game 1 starter

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The guy who backstopped Pittsburgh to last year’s Stanley Cup will begin this year’s title defense.

On Wednesday, Pens head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed the fairly obvious — Matt Murray would be the club’s starting netminder when it kicks off its opening round series against the Blue Jackets at PPG Paints.

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Sullivan did, however, leave the door slightly open for Marc-Andre Fleury to make an appearance at some point in this series.

It was widely assumed Murray would be in goal when the postseason began. But Fleury made things interesting down the stretch.

The veteran ‘tender was great in March, going 3-1-2 with a .931 save percentage, posting a shutout. Murray, meanwhile, got hurt late in the year and missed a pair of games. His last action came on Apr. 6, when he allowed four goals on 38 shots in a win over the Devils.

On the year, though, Murray has been solid and justified his grip on the No. 1 job. He’s gone 32-10-4 with a 2.41 GAA and .923 save percentage, this coming after winning a Cup at the tender age of 21.