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Penguins to announce Game 6 starter Tuesday

Coach to wait another day before selecting Fleury or Murray to start in goal against Lightning

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins' goalie debate will continue until at least Tuesday morning.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan did not announce if Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray would be the starting goalie in Pittsburgh's must-win Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final when he met with the media before boarding the charter flight to Tampa on Monday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can close it out in Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I'll have a decision in the morning," Sullivan said.

Sullivan called the decision a "tough one" to make.

"It's just a tough circumstance," he said. "We believe in the guys that we have. We think we have quality people. But it's an imperfect situation so all things considered we're trying to make the best decisions that we can, that we think give the best chance to win. That's what we do and that's what we go with. We'll continue to do that."

Video: Picking Pittsburgh's Game 6 Goalie

Sullivan thought Fleury gave the Penguins the best chance to win Game 5 on Sunday, but he allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss. It was his first start since March 31.

Sullivan balked when asked if the time off was too much for Fleury to overcome.

"That's a tough question to answer," Sullivan said. 

Sullivan said he felt Fleury had a strong start to the game, but he felt the game "got away from him a little bit" as it wore on.

Fleury allowed the four goals on the last 14 shots he faced.

"To Marc's defense, it's a tough situation when you haven't played in a long time and you get thrown into a high-stakes environment like that," Sullivan said. "But I thought early on in the game he looked really strong, he was tracking the puck well."

Fleury's teammates came to his defense.

"I think he played well," center Evgeni Malkin said. "I mean, he saved it two times for sure. Yeah, I think it's a tough game for everyone [Sunday], but I think Marc-Andre played very well."

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Fleury robs Johnson with stellar save

Murray, 21, started the previous 13 games before being benched for Game 5. He is 3-3 with a .892 save percentage in his past six starts after going 6-1 with a .944 save percentage in his first seven starts of the playoffs.

Sullivan said before Game 5 that his confidence in Murray has not wavered and he would expect a strong performance if he had to go back to him.

"We've got a resilient group here that's shown a lot of resolve through a ton of adversity throughout the course of this season," Sullivan said. "I don't know that there's a team in the League that's faced more adversity than this team from the start of training camp until where we are today. And so these guys have shown their resilience time and time again. Probably now it'll be tested more than ever, but I certainly believe in this group we have. I think we've got a great group that's going to respond the right way."

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