Matt Murray has gone into the Stanley Cup record books.
Still technically a rookie, Murray became the first goalie in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup in each of his first two seasons thanks to a 27-save shutout in the Penguins’ 2-0 championship clinching victory Sunday. They repeat as champions, becoming the first team to do so in the salary cap era.
Yes, he and his team benefited from a quick whistle that nullified what would’ve been the opening goal of the game for Nashville, before the Penguins stunned the Nashville crowd with the opening goal — and eventual winner — with 1:35 left in regulation.
Officially, Murray finished the series with two shutouts, regrouping from a pair of difficult outings in Nashville earlier in the series.
“He was in a zone. The last two games,” said Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford. “When he’s like that, you can’t score on him.”
The Penguins’ celebration was full of special moments. Ron Hainsey, who is 36 years old and a veteran of more than 900 NHL regular season games but had never played a postseason game until this spring, getting the nod to lift the Stanley Cup first after Sidney Crosby was one of those.
So, too, was Marc-Andre Fleury handing the Stanley Cup to Murray.
Fleury’s time with the Penguins may soon be coming to an end. But, with Murray injured, Fleury played a pivotal role in getting the Penguins through the first two rounds, including a second-round defeat of the Capitals.
When Murray was healthy and Fleury faltered versus Ottawa, coach Mike Sullivan decided to make a change in net, giving Murray the starting role once again. He and the Penguins never looked back.
“I talked at the start of the season about keeping two goalies,” said Rutherford. “And these guys did exactly what I hoped they’d do.”
In the end, they both lifted the Stanley Cup. Not a bad way for Matt Murray to finally shed that rookie title.