Skip to main content
news

Marc-Andre Fleury to start for Penguins in Game 3

Goaltender will get call again vs. Blue Jackets on Sunday; Matt Murray remains out

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Nationwide Arena on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN360, TVA Sports 2, FS-O, ROOT).

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-0, with Fleury winning each in place of injured Matt Murray.

Fleury did not practice Saturday but is expected to be available for Game 3 after taking a maintenance day, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. Forward Conor Sheary and defenseman Trevor Daley also should play after having a maintenance day Saturday.

Murray missed a second consecutive practice since sustaining a lower-body injury in warmups before Game 1 on Wednesday. Sullivan last updated his status after practice Thursday, when he said there was no timetable for Murray's return.

Fleury has allowed one goal in each of his two starts this series. He made 39 saves on 40 shots for his 55th career playoff victory Friday, a 4-1 win in Game 2, which has him one shy of Tom Barrasso's Penguins record.

Video: CBJ@PIT, Gm2: Fleury closes the door to deny Saad

The 39 saves were Fleury's most in a playoff game since he made 42 on 46 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets on April 23, 2014.

Fleury has stopped 70 of 72 shots in winning consecutive playoff starts for the first time since he had three straight against the New York Rangers from May 4-7, 2014.

Fleury started once during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs; in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lighting, he allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 4-3 loss.

Murray, 22, was 15-6 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .923 save percentage last postseason, his first in the NHL, helping the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.

The rest of Pittsburgh's lineup is expected to remain the same in Game 3. Forward Tom Kuhnhackl practiced Saturday and should play after Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert cross-checked him in the back of the neck late in Game 2. Calvert was scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday.

"It was more like shoulder, neck," Kuhnhackl said. "The stick broke right away. … It happened yesterday. It's a new day. You have to have a short memory in the playoffs.

"I feel all right. Obviously, a little sore. The series is pretty physical, so I think it's normal that you're sore after a game like that."

Forwards Carl Hagelin and Chris Kunitz, each out with a lower-body injury, did not practice.

Kunitz skated on his own Saturday. Hagelin has skated before recent practices.

View More