Matt Murray returned in front of the net for the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night, but it doesn’t look like he missed a beat.
Murray made 40 saves in against the San Jose Sharks. For going through such a tough time with the death of his father, the young goalie was as good as he ever was tonight. He kept the Penguins in the game when things were tied up in the second period.
“It was a great feeling, obviously,” Murray said. “Getting back to normal and getting in a good game like that, and getting a win for the team. Points are important right now and every game means so much. So it was really nice to get back into it. For sure, this one meant a little more to me, personally.”
Murray had the support from his teammates, but also head coach Mike Sullivan.
“I thought he was terrific,” Sullivan said. “It was obviously an emotional game for him. I thought he was terrific. He made some timely saves for us that gave us a chance to get our legs and capture the game. He’s just a great kid that has good perspective I think, and because of that, I think he handles adverse situations really well.”
In the first period, the Penguins hit the scoreboard first off a Bryan Rust goal. He was assisted Riley Sheahan and Ian Cole. Rust’s goal came off a four-on-four opportunity, without Sidney Crosby on the ice. He was in the penalty box for a roughing call.
San Jose’s Melker Karlsson maked a dangerous hit on Crosby, who retaliated against him and both were penalized. But in the NHL, it only makes sense that both players should be penalized, even if one of them almost took the league’s greatest player’s knee out.
Makes sense, right?
The Sharks bounced back in the second period, with a goal from Brent Burns power-play goal, which was assisted by Joonas Donskoi and Mikkel Boedker. Another power-play goal followed in the second period by Logan Couture.
Evgeni Malkin was also stellar tonight, scoring three goals in the game at crucial times to motivate the team throughout the game. Geno has been on fire lately, scoring 10 goals in January (the most in the NHL) and 14 points in his last eight home games.
The Russian can really play hockey and watching him take charge of his game lately has been so fun to watch, especially after tonight’s hat trick. After the Sharks take the lead 2-1 in the second, Malkin scored to tie the game with four seconds left in the period.
In the third period, he scored twice to ensure the win for Pittsburgh.
Rust scored again to make it 4-2 in the third after a beautiful pass from Tom Kuhnhackl and propel the Pens to this strong win.
The Penguins have until Friday to gear up to play against the Washington Capitals in Pittsburgh, in what is sure to be another exciting game for leadership of the Metro Division.
The Penguins, after a shaky start to the season, seem to finally be back on their game, which makes for some exciting hockey to see in the spring.