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Pens adjust without Murray

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The question as to whom will be the Pens' starting goaltender for the opening of the 2016-17 regular season has been answered. 

Though not in the manner the team would be prefer. 

Goaltender Matt Murray, 22, will miss the next three to six weeks after breaking his hand while playing with Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.

"We're going to have to go through a 10- to 14-day period to really see how long it will be for Matt," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "At that point we'll have a better idea.

"We don't need to push this too quick. We're early in the season. We have good goaltending. Let's make sure (the hand) is 100 percent."

That clears the way for Marc-Andre Fleury, 31, to handle the duties until Murray, who will not need surgery on the broken hand, heals and recovers.

"It will give (the media) less to think about who's going to play the first few games," Rutherford said. "I'm happy we have two good goalies regardless of injuries or not."

Fleury was the Pens' early-season MVP last year, keeping the team afloat until they were able to turn the season around. The 11-year NHL veteran is the Pens' all-time winningest goaltender in franchise history.

"We have Marc that has been so good for this team for so long," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "We're fortunate to have two quality goaltenders like we have in those two guys that are NHL ready and have accomplished as much as those two guys have accomplished at that level."

The next likely goaltender on the depth chart is Tristan Jarry, who could begin the season as Fleury's backup. Rutherford has been impressed with Jarry so far this fall.

"I know it's early in camp, but Jarry has been very good at the rookie tournament and the first couple of days here," Rutherford said.  

The Pens are going to see how things progress with their goaltenders, but haven't ruled out looking at the market.

"We'll discuss that over the next couple of weeks," Rutherford said. "If we feel want to get (the young goalies) down and continue to develop, not sit here, there will be opportunities out there - probably wavers - on the short time.

"We have lots of time to think about that."

And when Murray does return the Pens will let the goaltending rotation play itself out.

"I'm a firm believer that I think the game always sorts those types of situations out," Sullivan said. "As far as how we manage the position moving forward, as a coaching staff we've discussed potential scenarios so that we're prepared, but for me, performance is always going to be the dictator. So the players themselves have a lot of influence on the types of decisions that coaches make."

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