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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins coach Sullivan sticking by Murray

Expects rookie goalie 'will respond fine' in Game 6 of Cup Final against Sharks

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan's confidence in rookie goalie Matt Murray is not wavering.

Murray struggled through the first period against the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on Thursday. While allowing three goals on the first five shots he faced, Murray seemed uncharacteristically jittery.

Following the 4-2 loss that cut Pittsburgh's lead in the best-of-7 series to 3-2 entering Game 6 at SAP Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), Sullivan said he never considered pulling the 22-year-old.

Before flying to San Jose on Friday, Sullivan reiterated his belief in Murray.

"I'm sure Matt will respond fine," Sullivan said. "He's done it all year long. He's a real good goalie. One of the things we love about him is his demeanor. He really has a calming influence on the group. He's done a terrific job in such a high-stakes environment all season for us and I think that's the experience that's going to serve him well.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Burns opens the scoring early

"So, we have a lot of trust that he'll respond the right way."

Murray expressed similar confidence Thursday. He responded well after those initial five shots, stopping the remaining 16 he faced.

Following the game, Murray said he was nervous, as he is before any game, but felt he played well.

"I was pretty sharp early," Murray said. "I made a couple good saves and then, after the third one, I shut it down. I settled in a little bit after the third one, but I don't think we're too worried as a group in here."

Murray is 14-6 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After winning four consecutive starts, he has lost two of his past three while allowing three goals in each of the two losses.

Video: Hear what Murray had to say after Game 5

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