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Pens Report: 1.9.17

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Goaltender Matt Murray returned to team practice on Monday at PPG Paints Arena.

The 22-year-old had been listed as week-to-week since sustaining a lower-body injury late in the second period of Pittsburgh's 3-2 win over Carolina on Dec. 28, and head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that his status is now upgraded to day-to-day.

"Getting back in practice was a big step," said Murray, who had skated twice on his own before today and had no limitations. "It felt good but you've got to see how you react the day after and stuff like that. Taking it one day at a time."

Both Murray and Sullivan declined to say whether he would be ready to play for the team's upcoming three-game road swing through Washington, Ottawa and Detroit, reiterating that they truly are not looking ahead.

"We have one more practice between now and then and then a morning skate," Murray said. "It's been feeling pretty good but you never want to jump back in too early and re-aggravate things. We're really taking it one day at a time and just seeing how I feel when I wake up and when I get off the ice and we'll make a decision when we need to."

Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 27 saves in Pittsburgh's 6-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday to improve to 7-0-1 in his last eight decisions, was absent from the session. Sullivan said it was more of a maintenance day for the netminder.

"Obviously he's coming off the illness, so we thought it was best to rest him today," Sullivan said. "He's got tomorrow to prepare, he's got a morning skate on Wednesday so he'll be fine."

However, the other players missing from practice - Phil Kessel, Trevor Daley and Chad Ruhwedel - were out sick with a bug that's been going around the team. Fleury, Carl Hagelin, Bryan Rust and Olli Maatta have all had it.

"We're trying to do everything we can to try to limit it going through the team," Sullivan said. "We're using separate water bottles, we're sanitizing everything and hopefully we can stop it. But there's obviously been a fair amount of our guys that have gone through it here."

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