The Pittsburgh Penguins certainly didn’t see the Marc-Andre Fleury that they’re used to during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night.
The veteran starter allowed a whopping four goals within the first period of the game, ultimately getting pulled in favor of younger Matt Murray.
Murray allowed just one goal over the final two periods of the game, but the Penguins never recovered offensively and dropped a 5-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators.
Despite Fleury’s poor outing, the team wouldn’t commit to shifting the net to Murray moving forward, with head coach Mike Sullivan stating he’d ‘sleep on’ the decision. Now, it looks like the team is giving indications that it’s still Fleury’s net.
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that Fleury had his own net at practice, while Murray shared the other net with fellow backup Tristan Jarry. The distribution of the netminders on the ice, while not a clear indicator that the team has made their final decision, is a good hint that Murray won’t be taking over from here on out.
So far, Fleury has put up a more than impressive .924 save percentage through the postseason, including his brief outing on Wednesday night. Assuming he’s able to return to the form he’s been in through the remainder of the postseason, there’s little reason to pull him moving forward.
If he’s unable to help the team even up the series in Game 4, though, it would be shocking if Murray didn’t take the ice for Game 5.