The Pittsburgh Penguins updated the injury status of several key players today, including playoff hero Matt Murray. The 22-year-old goalie is set to make his season debut tomorrow night, as he gets the start back in the state where he helped Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup just five short months ago. Murray will face the Anaheim Ducks after missing the first nine games of the season with a hand injury suffered in the World Cup of Hockey. After a brief stint on the injured reserve, Murray is ready to get his 2016-17 campaign started. Last season, Murray posted an unreal .930 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average in 13 regular season starts before leading the Penguins to championship behind a .923 save percentage and 2.08 goals against average in 21 postseason appearances. While the Penguins will soon have to figure out a short-term and long-term plan for Murray and incumbent Marc-Andre Fleury, for now they are just happy to have their young stud keeper back.
In other injury returns:
- Kris Letang returned to practice on Tuesday, fully participating and “looking strong” according to coach Mike Sullivan, but remains day-to-day with an upper body injury. He has not played since October 18th. The leader of the Penguins defense, Letang has had trouble staying on the ice in his career, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up big numbers. Letang had a career-high 67 points last season, and the Penguins hope that his offensive ability will return to the lineup shortly.
- Another Penguin who has not played since the October 18th matchup against the Montreal Canadiens is Conor Sheary. The former UMass star took a stick to the eye in that game, forcing him out of the lineup early and for the following five games. Back at practice wearing a full mask, Sheary was a full participant and is expected back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow. Sheary was a revelation in the playoffs for the Penguins in 2016, scoring 10 points in 23 games to match his 10 points in 44 regular season games, and was a key contributor to their Stanley Cup run.