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'Mature beyond his years,' Murray lifts Penguins

21-year-old has allowed one goal in two playoff wins against Rangers

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Years from now, maybe after Matt Murray puts the finishing touches on a Hall of Fame career, the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie will tell the story of his first two Stanley Cup Playoff games.

There may be some who won't believe him, who will want proof. They wouldn't be out of line to ask either, because it does seem like a fairy tale of sorts.

Murray made 31 saves for his first NHL playoff shutout in a 5-0 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the New York Rangers on Thursday, two days after making 16 saves for his first NHL playoff win, a 3-1 victory.

His 47 saves on 48 shots at Madison Square Garden are as big a reason the Penguins are one win away from advancing to the second round as their sizzling power play (7-for-19 in the series) and dominant penalty kill (14-for-15).

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 with Game 5 at home on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, TVA Sports).

Video: PIT@NYR, Gm4: Murray shuts out Rangers in Game 4

"It's exciting, obviously," Murray said. "It's pretty cool and it's pretty emotional. I'll definitely go call my parents after this game and share it with them."

The 21-year-old has to call his parents because they're in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Getting them to New York to watch him play was too difficult. In fact, the only person Murray had to get tickets for Thursday was the older brother of one of his close friends, because he lives in New York.

Murray also said he doesn't really know how his success here is playing back home. Remember, two of Thunder Bay's own, Rangers Marc Staal and Eric Staal, are on the other side of Murray in this series. They typically get the headlines back home.

"I know I get a lot of well wishes and text messages after a game," Murray said. "I know I have a lot of good friends back home that are watching, and obviously my family is watching every game. I know they're rooting for me and the Pens. It's nice to have that support."

Video: PIT@NYR, Gm4: Murray denies Yandle, Boyle on rush

But it's not really as if Murray needs it. He is as cool as they come even if he admits to being nervous before every game. He credits the calm demeanor he displays in net to his laid-back, even-keeled attitude off the ice.

The Penguins credit Murray for setting their tone in the past two games, after Jeff Zatkoff split Games 1 and 2 filling in for injured Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion).

"[Matt] knows he is good," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's got a quiet confidence about him that I think really helps him deal with the ebbs and flows. For a young guy, he's mature beyond his years. I also think he's a guy that reads the play extremely well and because of that, positionally, he's a very sound guy. So, it doesn't surprise me. He's a young guy, but he's a real good goalie and he gives our team a chance to win."

He has this week. The Penguins might be able to start some early planning for a second-round opponent if he does again Saturday.

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