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Murray keeps his cool after Game 1 overtime loss

Penguins rookie goaltender not rattled after losing in OT on shot he thought he stopped

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Matt Murray read the play, saw T.J. Oshie going low and wide, around the net, for the wraparound. He scurried back across the crease to get his stick and his pad at the left post. He thought he sealed it. He can't believe he didn't.

"I did, to be honest," said Murray, the Pittsburgh Penguins' 21-year-old rookie goalie. "The ref called it a goal on the ice, I don't know how he could have possibly seen it from his angle. I thought I had it. I thought I knew it never fully crossed the line or it was at least close enough that it was going to be inconclusive."

The officials saw it differently.

After a lengthy review, and with assistance from the NHL Situation Room, referee Dan O'Rourke's call on the ice of a good goal stood, allowing Oshie's third goal of the night to stand as the overtime winner in Washington's 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on Thursday.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, with Game 2 set for Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm1: Murray stones Williams' great chance

Murray, who is playing because Marc-Andre Fleury is still out with a concussion, skated off solemnly with the rest of his teammates. He let out a scream, likely out of frustration, maybe out of disappointment as well, as he came off the ice, down the tunnel toward the visitors' dressing room.

"I thought I made the save, to be honest," Murray said.

That he didn't ruined the outcome for him and the Penguins, but it didn't ruin his experience or what it means to him to be involved in a fast-paced, high stakes, intense and entertaining Game 1 between rivals.

Murray finished the night with 31 saves on 35 shots. The four goals in Game 1 matched the number he gave up on 89 shots in winning Games 3, 4 and 5 against the New York Rangers in the first round.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm1: Murray uses pad to deny Ovechkin early

It didn't seem to rattle him. It's fair to wonder if anything does.

"It was fun, to be honest," Murray said. "I've said this all along, I'm trying to enjoy every minute of this ride. Win or lose, I think I have that same feeling. I had a ton of fun out there. I was happy with how I competed. I thought I made some good saves. Just a couple of weird ones here and there that cost us the game. I'm pretty happy with how I played and I had a good time out there."

Murray's even-keeled attitude is what helps him be so poised in the heat of the game. Maybe that's why he rebounded so well after allowing a five-hole goal to Oshie at 3:23 of the third period, a goal Murray even called a softie for him.

Murray made another 11 saves before Oshie's third goal was confirmed by video review. One of those saves came on Alex Ovechkin's breakaway with 3:26 remaining in the third period. Ovechkin went to his backhand, and Murray read him perfectly. He stuck out his right pad and made the save.

"I tried to force him to make the first move," Murray said. "It's no different than with any other player."

No different? This is Ovechkin, on a breakaway, late in the third period of a tie game, in a playoff series, and Murray stood his ground like a veteran.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm1: Murray denies Ovechkin after nifty feed

"That's my job," Murray said. "It doesn't matter if you let in a bad goal or you get scored on, that's a big time in the game so you need to be able to come up with a big save and I was able to do that."

He thought he did it in overtime too. He was overruled. After a solemn skate to the bench and an angry walk down the tunnel it was like he had forgotten about it and moved on.

That, as much as anything, is a sign of maturity in a goalie. Murray is 21, but he's growing up in front of the hockey world, on the big stage. With Fleury's status in doubt, that's great news for the Penguins, even in a loss.

"He made the saves," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He gave us a chance to win."

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