Murray returns, will back up Fleury tonight

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Pittsburgh will have a familiar face on the bench for tonight’s massive Game 7 in Washington.

Matt Murray, who hasn’t dressed since suffering a lower-body injury during warmup ahead of Game 1 in the Columbus series, has been declared healthy and will serve as Marc-Andre Fleury‘s backup tonight, per Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan.

Murray, who backstopped the Pens to the Stanley Cup last spring, hadn’t participated with the team until today’s morning skate, replacing Tristan Jarry in the process.

Prior to today, Murray had been skating on his own.

Fleury has fared well in the 22-year-old’s absence, going 7-4 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.78 GAA. That said, the last two games have been rough. Fleury’s allowed nine goals on 58 shots, though it’s tough to blame him for a lot of them. Pittsburgh’s defense has been decimated by injury, most notably by the absences of Kris Letang and Trevor Daley.

As a result, the Pens iced a six-man unit of Justin Schultz, Olil Maatta, Ron Hainsey, Ian Cole, Brian Dumoulin and Chad Ruhwedel in Game 6. Schultz led all blueliners in TOI, with 22:13, while Dumoulin finished second at 21:15.