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Matt Murray skates before Penguins practice prior to Game 5

Goaltender hasn't played since sustaining lower-body injury in first round; unknown if he will return to face Capitals

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Goalie Matt Murray skated on his own at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex before the Pittsburgh Penguins practiced Friday.

Murray has not played since sustaining a lower-body injury during warmups before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 12. He spent more than an hour Friday taking light shots, making split-pad saves and working on his glove hand.

The Penguins lead the Washington Capitals 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Second Round. Game 5 in the best-of-7 series is at Verizon Center on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Though Murray is getting better, there's no timeframe for his return, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.


[RELATED: Complete Penguins vs. Capitals series coverage]


"He's progressing," Sullivan said. "He's in full equipment, obviously. He's progressing. We're encouraged by how much he's progressed here over the last couple of days. … We're certainly encouraged."

Murray was expected to be the starting goalie for the Penguins throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was 32-10-4 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 49 regular-season games, with Marc-Andre Fleuryhis backup.

Instead, Fleury has started each of Pittsburgh's nine playoff games and is 7-2 with a 2.40 GAA and .935 save percentage.

Murray missed the first month of the season because of a broken hand sustained playing for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, but returned Nov. 2 and won 12 of his first 14 games (12-2-0).

Fleury sustained two concussions last season, the second on March 31, 2016 against the Nashville Predators. That allowed Murray to take over as the starter into the playoffs, and he went 15-6 with a 2.08 GAA and .923 save percentage in winning the Stanley Cup.

In a reduced regular-season role, Fleury went 18-10-7 in 38 games, and his .909 save percentage, his lowest since a .905 in 2009-10. He has allowed nine goals in the series against the Capitals.

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