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Penguins Matt Murray to start and Tom Kuhnhackl is out in Game 4

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 17: Pittsburgh Penguins Goalie Matt Murray (30) in the third period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators on May 17, 2017, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, On. (Photo by Jason Kopinski/Icon Sportswire)
Jason Kopinski/Icon Sportswire

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be turning to Matt Murray between the pipes on Friday evening against the Ottawa Senators so it appears. According to a Friday morning report from Chantal Machabee, Murray will be starting for the Penguins in Game 4 while fellow goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will serve as the team’s backup.

Early indications at the Penguins’ morning skate pointed toward Murray getting the start with Pittsburgh looking to even the series on the road in Ottawa. Murray had his own net upon the Penguins taking the ice on Friday morning while he and Tristan Jarry previously split a net on Thursday with Fleury minding his own.

It is also worth noting that Fleury was notably pulled at the conclusion of the first period of Game 3 after allowing four goals in what would become a 5-1 loss.

During the 2016-2017 regular season, Murray served as the Penguins’ starting goaltender en route to making 49 appearances. After winning 32 of those regular-season outings in addition to posting a 2.41 goals against average, he was expected to serve as the Penguins’ starter for the postseason as well. However, a lower-body injury during warm-ups prior to the team’s first postseason matchup derailed those initial plans.

As a rookie last season, the soon-to-be 23-year-old net-minder helped lead the Penguins to yet another Stanley Cup title. In the 2015-2016 postseason alone, thanks in part to an injury to 32-year-old Fleury, Murray registered a 2.08 goals against average for the eventual champion Penguins.

On the other hand, the Penguins will also be without a forward on Friday evening against the surging Senators. The team has officially announced that right-winger Tom Kuhnhackl, who was previously listed as day-to-day on Thursday, will not play in Game 4. Lastly, Pittsburgh will also be without forwards Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust in addition to defenseman Justin Schultz. The trio did not play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals either.

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