Pittsburgh Penguins: Reexploring Matt Murray’s Playoff Shutouts

Pittsburgh Penguins, Matt Murray, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Matt Murray, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

On Apr. 21, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray became the first rookie in NHL history to record a shutout in the playoffs.

Matt Murray’s arrival to the Pittsburgh Penguins read like a storybook. A goaltender that played 13 regular-season games in 2015-16 finds himself thrust into the spotlight and then leads his team to consecutive championships, all as a rookie.

On Apr. 21,2016, Murray became the first rookie in NHL history to record a shutout in the playoffs.

Currently, Murray (3rd) is sandwiched between Marc-Andre Fleury (1st) and Tom Barrasso (3rd) on the Penguins all-time list for most playoff shutouts.

With that spirit in mind here’s a look back at Murray’s six career playoff shutouts.

You Always Remember Your First

Apr. 21, 2016 – First Round of Eastern Conference Playoffs

With Pittsburgh holding a 2-1 series lead, Murray and the rest of the Penguins were looking to put the New York Rangers on the ropes before returning home for a chance to close out the series.

Pittsburgh got the result they were looking for with a sound 5-0 victory over the Rangers.

Murray made 31 saves, including four saves on Keith Yandle, and three each on Viktor Stahlberg, Derek Stepan, Eric Staal, Oscar Lindberg, and Derick Brassard.

Murray’s best save of the game occurred with 2:38 left in the first period when he made a sliding stop against Staal.

At the other end of the ice, Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 14 shots, before being replaced by Antti Raanta.

Jun. 8 and Jun. 11, 2017 – Stanley Cup Finals

Murray was injured in warm-ups prior to game 1 against Columbus Blue Jackets and did not get the chance to reclaim the top spot until game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa.

After allowing a combined 9 goals in games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, Murray entered pure lockdown mode and made 64 saves in games 5 (24 saves) and 6 (27 saves) of the series and earned back-to-back shutouts to help the Penguins claim their second Stanley Cup in as many years.

Probably, the most stressful stretch of the streak occurred when Nashville had a 5-on-3 powerplay for 32 seconds in the third period of game 6, with 10 minutes left on the clock and the score tied at zero.

Murray made consecutive stops on Mattias Ekholm and Viktor Arvidsson, which allowed the Penguins to kill off the penalties unscathed.

Seize the Throne

May 19, 2017 – Eastern Conference Finals

After Marc-Andre Fleury allowed 5 goals in game 3 of the series, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan looked to Murray to help the Penguins draw even in their series vs. Ottawa.

After a narrow 3-2 victory in game 4, in which Murray made 24 saves, the series shifted back to Pittsburgh, with a chance to move one win closer to the Stanley Cup Final.

Murray benefited from some tremendous goal support when the Penguins poured four first period goals behind Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.

Murray still had to make some key stops on his 25 saves, turning away three shots each from Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, and Kyle Turris, but most of the pressure had alleviated by that point.

Pittsburgh took the game 7-0 and earned a 3-2 series lead.

Two in Six

Apr. 11 and Apr. 18, 2018 – First Round of Eastern Conference Playoffs

The 2018 playoffs marked the second time in his career, Murray posted two shutouts in the same series. This time the opponents were cross-state rival Philidelphia Flyers.

Shadowed behind Crosby’s natural hat-trick in game 1 of the series was the strong play of Murray who made 24 saves and absolutely robbed Scott Laughton with a diving glove save to keep the Flyers off the board and the Penguins ahead by one goal.

The second biggest stop Murray made in game 1, was on Jakub Voracek, who blasted a shot at the net following a faceoff win. The save came with 5 minutes left in the second period and kept the Penguins up 3-0. All-in-all Murray made 24 saves in game one.

With Pittsburgh holding a 2-1 series lead, Murray came up big again in game 4 of the series.

The Penguins were holding a slim 2-0 lead near the conclusion of the first period when Travis Konecny was sprung on a breakaway following his exit from the penalty box, Murray turned the shot away and the Penguins stayed up by two goals.

Murray made 26 saves for the shutout in game 4, including 6 saves on Nolan Patrick, and three saves each on Wayne Simmonds and Shayne Gostisbehere.

The Penguins took the series in six games.

What are some of your favorite memories from Murray’s shutouts and where do you feel he ranks among Pittsburgh Penguins goaltenders?  Drop your comments in the box below.

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