It had been a bit of a difficult start to the season for Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray of Thunder Bay, Ontario. In his first two games to start the 2018-19 NHL regular season, Murray gave up 11 goals (beat the Washington Capitals 7-6 in overtime and then lost 5-1 to the Montreal Canadiens). Then he suffered his third career concussion during practice on October 9.
On Thursday at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Murray made his return to the Penguins and made 38 saves in a surprising 3-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have got off to a strong start offensively during the 2018-19 NHL regular season. (Or they did, before Thursday). In eight games, the Leafs have recorded a NHL best 33 goals.
For Murray, it was his seventh career National Hockey League shutout. He has accomplished that feat remarkably in only 114 regular season games. However it should also be noted, that Murray’s playoff accolades are even more impressive as he has six shutouts in 44 postseason games for the Penguins.
There is no doubt that Murray is an integral part of the success of the Penguins. Backup Casey DeSmith, who had a record of one win and two losses in extra time during Murray’s absence, has only played 17 career games in the National Hockey League. The Penguins next three games are through western Canada. They play in Edmonton on October 23, in Calgary on October 25 and in Vancouver on October 27.