Murray making rare consecutive starts


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Matt Murray. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Matt Murray, who has been lifting his game back toward its customary level in recent weeks, will be in goal when the Penguins face Boston today at 12:38 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena.

He also played in their 2-1 overtime victory in Detroit Friday, and will be making back-to-back starts for the first time since Nov. 19-21, a pair of overtime losses to the New York Islanders.

"There were lots of things that went into the decision (to start Murray)," Mike Sullivan said today. "We think we have two goalies who are playing pretty well for us right now, and we're going to try to make the best decisions, game-to-game, that give us the best chance to win."

Murray has won his past four starts, and five of his past six.

For the season, he is 14-6-4, with a 2.84 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.

Tristan Jarry, who played in a 4-1 loss at Boston on Thursday, has supplanted Murray as the Penguins' go-to goaltender during the past two months, but Sullivan is expected to distribute the starts somewhat evenly as long as both goalies are performing to -- or close to -- expectations.

"There are times during season when some goaltenders get hot and they help their teams win," Sullivan said. "One of the benefits (of having two solid goaltenders) is that their workloads are very reasonable. We think that's a huge benefit to our team, especially when you look at the schedule we're going through right now, where the games (11 in 20 days) are so condensed.

"When you look at how the league has gone, there aren't a lot of guys who go wire-to-wire (play virtually every game) in goal. There are a lot of teams that are using two goaltenders, and I think it's out of necessity, based on the way the games are being played, the challenges of the schedule.

"If you have the capability to do it and you have quality guys, it can be a competitive advantage for your team."

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