The Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the San Jose Sharks tonight in a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final from last season, and there will be a familiar face in net. Matt Murray will make his second start of the season after allowing just a single goal in his debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. Even though Marc-Andre Fleury has played exceptionally well to start the year, head coach Mike Sullivan says both netminders will continue to play, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
We’re fortunate. We have two really good goaltenders that we know are going to give us a chance to win. We’re going to do our best to keep them both in the mix. We’ll go from there. These situations always have a way to work themselves out. Inevitably performance is always the dictator.
Mackey expects that Murray’s play tonight will factor large in the decision of who to start on Tuesday at home, though it’s up in the air from that point. The team doesn’t have another back-to-back situation until November 18th and 19th.
- The Penguins will get some help up front to try and score some goals for Murray, as Conor Sheary will return from a seven game absence to play tonight. Sheary suffered an eye injury last month in Montreal and has been itching to get back into game action. According to Mackey, he’ll start on the fourth line with Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr, though he could quickly ascend back up the lineup. Sheary has one goal and two assists on the season in just four games.
- The ’HBK’ line (Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel) is officially broken up, according to Adam Gretz of NBC. The trio that was so dominant in the playoffs is now spread out over the Penguins top three units, with Hagelin skating alongside Sidney Crosby and Patrick Hornqvist. As Gretz notes, Hagelin brings a lot of the same aspects that Pascal Dupuis added so effectively to Crosby’s wing over the years. Hopefully it will spark something in the speedy winger, as he only has two points on the season so far. Kessel on the other hand is off to a great start this season and now finds himself skating alongside Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz. #81’s ten points this year trails only Malkin on the Penguins, and he leads the team in assists.