Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, who left yesterday’s game in Carolina early, has been diagnosed with a lower body injury and is out on a week-to-week basis, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters, including Bill West of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link).
The rookie netminder has picked up right where he left off after a stellar postseason performance, posting a 13-3-1 record this year in 19 appearances with a 2.18 GAA and a .928 SV% along with two shutouts, taking over as the undisputed starter from incumbent Marc-Andre Fleury.
Murray has long been viewed as Pittsburgh’s goalie of the future and signed a three year, $11.25MM extension in mid-October. That has called Fleury’s future with the team into question, especially with the expansion draft coming up in June. Fleury has struggled considerably this year with a subpar 3.13 GAA and a .908 SV% but could help his potential trade value with a strong showing in Murray’s absence.
The timing of this could be worse for the Penguins who play just once in the next ten days as they are one of the first teams to receive the CBA-mandated ‘bye week’ at the beginning of January.
In the meantime, Pittsburgh has called up a top prospect, Tristan Jarry, who is off to a strong start with their AHL affiliate this season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, posting a 2.15 GAA and a .921 SV% in 19 games, to serve as Fleury’s backup.