Pittsburgh Penguins History: Revisiting Stanley Cup Standouts

Pittsburgh Penguins, Matt Murray. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Matt Murray. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Who was better for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the finals Murray or Fleury?

The Pittsburgh Penguins were fortunate to have Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray’s careers intersect when they did.

Both goalies provided strong performances and were instrumental in capturing Stanley Cups for the franchise.

This was most evident in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009 and 2017, where Fleury and Murray played exceptional in the final two games of each series.

We will let you decided who’s performance was better, and give all you the information you need to make that determination.

Flower Power

In the games leading up to the sixth game of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, Fleury allowed 15 goals on 145 shots and had a goals-against-average (GAA) of 3.30.

Of the 15 goals scored against Fleury, 11 goals were scored at even strength, and four goals were scored on the powerplay.

Game 6

Fleury faced 26 shots in Game 6, with Dan Cleary (six shots) and Henrik Zetterberg (four shots) leading the Red Wings in shots. The Penguins also blocked an additional 20 shots from hitting the net, including four blocks from Rob ‘the piece” Scuderi and six blocks from Brooks Orpik.

Kris Draper scored the lone Detroit goal and his first goal of the playoffs at the eight-minute and one-second mark of the third-period which ended Fleury’s 48-minute shut-out streak.

Game 7

In the final game of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, Fleury made 23 saves of 24 shots, with Nicklas Lidstrom pacing all Detriot shooters with five shots, as Penguins defenders diverted another 20 shots away from the net.

Jonathan Ericsson scored the only goal for the Red Wings at the 13 minutes and 53-second mark of the third period. The Penguins held on for dear life for the remainder of the game and earned their third Stanley Cup title.

In the final two games of the series, Fleury made 48 saves on 50 shots and earned a GAA of 1.00.

The buzz around “muzz”

Fast forward to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final with the Penguins looking to secure their second set of back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships.

In the first four games of the series vs. the Nashville Predators, Murray allowed 12 goals on 122 shots and earned a GAA of 3.01. Of the 12 goals scored on Murray, eight were even-strength goals and four were scored on the powerplay.

Game 5

During Game 5 of the series, Murray made 24 stops, including four shots from Mattias Ekholm, and three apiece from Roman Josi and P.K. Subban, as the Penguins claimed a 6-0 win and took a 3-2 series lead. The Penguins also blocked 16 shots.

Game 6

With the Penguins on the cusp of capturing their fifth Stanley Cup, Murray made 27 saves (Four saves each on Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, and Josi) to earn his second consecutive shutout.

In probably one of the most stressful situations of his career, Murray weathered a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 32 seconds and overall the Penguins shut down the Nashville powerplay, allowing zero goals with the extra-attacker in the final three games.

Murray was infallible in the final two games of the series (stick tap for the disappearing puck), as he made 51 saves and should have been mentioned in the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation for his strong play following his return from injury, going 7-3 with a GAA of 1.70 and three shutouts.

Which goalie do you think was more instrumental to the Pittsburgh Penguins success?