A perfect 3-0 record last week earned Penguins rookie goalie Matt Murray the NHL’s ‘Third Star’ of the week.
Pressed into back-to-back starts this weekend with Marc-Andre Fleury injured and the Penguins two points shy of clinching their 10th-consecutive postseason berth, Murray stopped 52 of 54 shots (.963 SVP) to lead Pittsburgh to a pair of wins and a spot in the playoff field.
Pittsburgh officially gained entry to the postseason Saturday when Murray turned away all 24 shots the New York Islanders threw his way, polishing off his first NHL shutout in a 5-0 victory.
One day later, Murray saved 28 of the 30 pucks the Philadelphia Flyers tossed at him in a 6-2 win that reduced Pittsburgh’s magic number to clinch home-ice advantage in the opening round to just four.
Murray opened the week by notching his first NHL shootout win, a 5-4 defeat of the Buffalo Sabres that featured a Penguins’ comeback from a 3-0 hole. Murray stopped both shooters in the shootout.
Between the early stages of the third period against Buffalo until late into the second frame against Philadelphia, Murray ran off a 122:05-minute shutout sequence.
Murray’s three victories last week tied for the league lead. He posted a 1.95 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
Murray will enter Tuesday’s game in Ottawa riding a personal five-game winning streak. For the season, Murray is 7-2-1 with a 1.88 goal-against average and a .933 save percentage with one shutout in 10 NHL starts.
This is the third-straight week a Penguins player has won a weekly NHL honor. Phil Kessel was ‘Third Star’ last week and Sidney Crosby was ‘First Star’ for the week ending March 20. Crosby was also ‘First Star’ for March.
The Penguins, winners of 12 of their last 13 games, begin a three-game road trip to conclude the 2015-16 regular season on Tuesday night against the Senators at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, the Penguins reached the 100-point mark for the 10th time in team history. Their 100 points are second-most in the Eastern Conference behind only Washington, and fourth-most in the entire NHL.