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Penguins go for seventh straight win vs. Senators

Murray back in goal for Pittsburgh; Methot out for Ottawa

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

PENGUINS (46-25-8) at SENATORS (36-34-9)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ROOT, TSN5, RDS2, NHL.TV

OTTAWA -- Pittsburgh Penguins rookie goaltender Matt Murray will make his third straight start as the Penguins try for their seventh win a row and move a step closer to clinching second place in the ‎Metropolitan Division against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday.

The Penguins lead the New York Rangers by three points. Both teams have played 79 games.

Murray, 21, is getting the chance to play with No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury ‎ out indefinitely because of a concussion.

In 10 games this season, his first in the NHL, Murray is 7-2-1 with a 1.88 goals against average and. 933 save percentage. He was named the NHL Third Star for the week of March 28-April 3 with a 3-0-0 record and 1.95 GAA. ‎That stretch included a 122:05 shutout streak.

"Matt's a good goalie and the reason he's here is because we ‎knew he could help us win games," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's an NHL-caliber goalie. He's got a calm demeanor about him. I think he has a maturity beyond his years and he gives us a chance to win each and every night."

The Penguins, who also are without center Evgeni Malkin, who will miss his 13th straight game because of an upper-body injury, have scored 54 non-shootout goals in their past 13 games (12-1-0), 30 during their current winning streak.

Murray said the best part is the way his teammates have been scoring them.

"The thing I like most about it is we're not cheating offensively to score so many goals," he said. "We're playing the right way defensively and that's leading to us getting a lot of chances and taking advantage of our opportunities. We know we have the skill in this locker room. We're always going to be able to score goals. I think if we play the right way it's going to help us even more."

The Penguins have been getting balanced scoring during their latest streak. They have eight players with at least five points during their six-game winning streak.

"A while back we talked as a group about ‎not necessarily trying to outscore teams but trying to outplay teams," Sullivan said. "Our coaching staff has tried to preach to these guys that when we manage the puck the right way we become a more difficult team to play against. We give ourselves a better chance to win games and outplay teams. We'll score goals if we play the right way."

Senators defenseman Marc Methot left the morning skate because of an undisclosed injury and will not play. Defenseman Ben Harpur, who made his NHL debut March 31, was called up from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to replace him.

The Senators will miss the playoffs but captain Erik Karlsson said the players are finding other sources of motivation.

"When you walk away from the game tonight you want to ‎be able to tell yourself you did everything you could despite the score," he said. "You've still got to come here every day and do the best that you can to your ability."

Karlsson trails Penguins captain Sidney Crosby by three points for third place in the NHL scoring race.

Andrew Hammond will start in goal for the Senators.

Here are the projected lineups:


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist

Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Beau Bennett

Conor Sheary - Oskar Sundqvist - Eric Fehr

Trevor Daley - Kris Letang

Ian Cole - Justin Schultz

Derrick Pouliot - Ben Lovejoy

Matt Murray

Jeff Zatkoff

Injured: Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), Olli Maatta (lower body), Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Kevin Porter (ankle), Bryan Rust (lower body), Scott Wilson (lower body)

Scratched: Brian Dumoulin


Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Ryan Dzingel

Matt Puempel - Curtis Lazar - Alex Chiasson

Buddy Robinson - Nick Paul - Chris Neil

Fredrik Claesson - Erik Karlsson

Michael Kostka - Cody Ceci

Ben Harpur - Chris Wideman

Andrew Hammond

Craig Anderson

Injured: Dion Phaneuf (lower body), Mark Borowiecki (knee), Kyle Turris (ankle), Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Patrick Wiercioch (undisclosed), Mark Stone (upper body), Marc Methot (undisclosed)

Scratched: Scott Gomez

Status report: Sullivan said there should be an update on the status of the Penguins' injured players Wednesday or Thursday.

Who's hot: ‎Letang has two goals and seven assists in his past six games. ... Crosby has two goals and four assists during a six-game point streak. … Karlsson has one goal and two assists in his past two games. … Ryan has three assists in his past two games.

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