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Murray out with concussion for Penguins

Goalie injured in practice, no timetable for return

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Matt Murray is out indefinitely for the Pittsburgh Penguins after sustaining a concussion in practice Monday.

After telling the Penguins he didn't feel well following that practice, the goalie did not join his teammates for practice Tuesday. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said there is no timeframe for Murray's return.

"We're hoping Matt will get healthy," Sullivan said. "When he does, we know he's a very good goalie."

Murray is 1-1-0 with a 5.47 goals-against average and .831 save percentage after allowing 11 goals on 65 shots in his two starts this season.

It is the third concussion, and eighth injury overall, in four NHL seasons for the 24-year-old.

He missed the first two games of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs after colliding with Brayden Schenn in a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on April 9, 2016. He missed nine games last season after taking a puck to the head from Olli Maatta during practice Feb. 27.

Sullivan said he is hesitant to worry about the amount of concussions Murray has had.

"It's really hard to make any sort of, to draw any conclusions, with this stuff because I think everybody's different," Sullivan said. "So that's been my experience in dealing with concussions with different players over the years. Everybody's different. The nature of these is different.

"Sometimes players bounce back extremely quick and others tend to linger. It's hard to predict. So I really haven't given much thought or consideration into it at this point."

Video: E.J. Hradek updates Matt Murray's concussion

Sullivan said he and general manager Jim Rutherford would discuss how Pittsburgh would handle its goaltender situation without Murray.

Backup Casey DeSmith is expected to start against the Vegas Golden Knights at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV). Tristan Jarry, who competed for the backup position during training camp, could be recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

"They're good goalies," Sullivan said. "We believe in these guys. They're young guys, but their body of work last year was very strong. They won games for us. We believe these guys can make the timely saves for us to help us win.

"So it's at times like these where we have to rely on our depth and we believe in the group that we have. I think both Casey and Tristan have shown that they're NHL-caliber goalies."

As a rookie last season, DeSmith was 6-4-1 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 14 games (11 starts) with the Penguins. Jarry, who was also a rookie, was 14-6-2 with a 2.77 GAA and .908 save percentage in 26 games (23 starts).

"I've been having really good practices lately," DeSmith said. "I felt good out there. I've got all the new gear broken in, so that always feels good. The beginning of the season is always rough, at least for me. So yeah, everything's coming together for me.

"Obviously, you never like seeing [Murray] go down, that's for sure. But I have a good opportunity with a really good team coming in Thursday."

Kris Letang said the Penguins defensemen would not play any differently in front of DeSmith or Jarry than they would Murray. He also said losing Murray for an extended period of time wouldn't be ideal, but he trusts DeSmith.

"It [stinks]," Letang said. "It's part of the game. We lose a big piece with Matt. So somebody has to rise to the occasion. Casey's been waiting for the chance. ... I've always thought he was pretty solid. He's an unorthodox kind of goalie, so it's hard to find holes. He's good at reading where your shot is going to go. So I like him a lot as a goalie."

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