The Pittsburgh Penguins’ skill and offensive prowess has been muted in their first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders. They have been outscored 11-5 and have scored just once in Game 2 and Game 3.
That might seem to put pressure on Penguins goaltender Matt Murray to be stingier with his team down 3-0 and facing elimination. He has a 3.33 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. If the Penguins score just once, does he have to give up none – in other words, be perfect?
“Oh, never. Never,” Murray said Monday. “Nobody’s perfect, especially not me. Just have to go play my game, and I think we all need to do that as a team.
“You can’t control what kind of chances you see as a goalie; you’ve just got to do your best to stop the puck. That’s where my focus is at.”
Murray has won the Stanley Cup twice with the Penguins, but Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner has better numbers this series – 3-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan waved off comparisons.
“I don’t think it’s about one guy vs. the next,” Sullivan said. “Has Matt made timely saves for us? Yes, he has. We’ve got to do a better job as a team, and that’s the most important takeaway.”
Murray, as usual, has maintained a sense of calm and normalcy off the ice.
“It’s important, especially for consistency,” he said. “I think that’s the hardest thing to do in this league, is be consistently good.”