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Ryan Dadoun

Hockey Daily Dose

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Murray's Comeback Continues

Saturday, January 5, 2019


Maybe what he needed was a chance to take a step back and reset his season.  Maybe all he needed was a chance to full recover from his injury.  Matt Murray got off to a disastrous start to the campaign with a 4.08 GAA and .877 save percentage through 11 starts.  Things seemingly went from bad-to-worse when Murray was shut down due to a lower-body injury that sidelined him for nearly a month.  He had apparently been dealing with that injury for weeks before being sidelined though, so you have to wonder how much it had contributed to his early season struggles.

 

Either way, Murray has been a different goaltender since returning.  After posting a 33-save shutout on Friday, he’s 7-0-0 with a 1.27 GAA and .962 save percentage in his last seven starts.  That’s also helped reverse the Penguins’ fortunes as the team underperformed early in the campaign, but is now tied for the Metropolitan Division lead in terms of points with a 23-12-6 record.

 

There’s plenty of season left and we have to imagine that Murray is going to get cold again at some point, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the second half of the campaign go far better for him than the first.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld’s Season Pass is now available for the low price of $19.99. You get plenty of extra articles including the minor league report, the power play report and much, much more. Buy it now!

 
 

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @RyanDadoun on Twitter.

 

PITTSBURGH 4 WINNIPEG 0

 

Matt Murray stopped 33 shots to earn his third shutout of the season and his second shutout in his last five games.  He’s won his last seven games to improve to 11-5-1.

 

Kyle Connor fired a team-high six shots on Murray.  Connor has 13 goals on 119 shots this season for a 10.9% success rate.

 

Olli Maatta netted the game’s first and therefore game-winning goal.  It was his first goal and 11th point in 40 contests.

 

Matt Cullen scored a goal and registered an assist.  That gives him four goals and 10 points in 30 contests.

 

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 of 32 shots last night.  He has a 17-12-1 record, 2.89 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 31 starts.

 

DETROIT 4 NASHVILLE 3 (OT)

 

P.K. Subban scored a goal for the Predators.  He has three goals and 13 points in 23 contests.

 

Dylan Larkin netted the overtime winner.  He has 18 goals and 40 points in 43 games.

 

Tyler Bertuzzi also scored a goal for the Red Wings.  It was his ninth goal and 21st point in 40 games.

 

Jimmy Howard stopped 27 of 30 Nashville shots.  He’s surrendered at least three goals in each of his last four games.

 

At the other end of the ice, Pekka Rinne saved 35 of 39 shots.  He’s 15-10-2 with a 2.31 GAA and .919 save percentage in 30 contests.

 

CAROLINA 4 COLUMBUS 2

 

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 13 of 16 shots in 28:01 minutes before he was pulled.  Joonas Korpisalo stepped in and saved 14 shots the rest of the way.

 

Greg McKegg scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist.  The 26-year-old was making his NHL season debut and his Hurricanes debut.

 

Sebastian Aho also had a goal and an assist for Carolina.  He has 16 goals and 43 points in 40 contests.

 

Curtis McElhinney stopped 22 of 24 shots to earn his second straight win.  He has a 9-5-1 record, 2.20 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 15 starts.

 

Artemi Panarin found the back of the net for Columbus.  It was his 13th goal and 44th point in 38 games.

 

DALLAS 2 WASHINGTON 1 (OT)

 

Tyler Seguin enjoyed his second straight multi-goal game.  That brings him up to 15 goals and 38 points in 42 games.

 

Alexander Radulov assisted on both of Seguins’ goals.  Radulov has 13 goals and 36 points in 32 contests.

 

Lars Eller scored the Capitals’ lone goal.  It was his sixth marker and 18th point in 40 games.

 

Pheonix Copley stopped 27 of 29 shots, ending his run of five straight starts with a win.  He has a 9-2-2 record, 2.56 GAA, and .915 save percentage in 14 contests.

 

Anton Khudobin turned aside 36 of 37 shots Friday night.  He’s 8-7-2 with a 2.52 GAA and .924 save percentage in 19 contests.  At the time of writing, although he was the only Dallas goaltender to play, NHL.com doesn’t have him registered as the starter.  That might change, but the reason why he wouldn’t be is because the Stars accidentally submitted Ben Bishop as the starter.  If you list one goaltender as your starter and have the other one start, that incurs a two-minute minor penalty, but there is some leeway if you can get the referee’s approval before the faceoff to make the switch, which seems to be what happened.  So even though Khudobin played the full game, Bishop might still technically have been the starting goaltender.  It’s a weird situation to say the least.

 

COLORADO 6 NY RANGERS 1

 

Alexandar Georgiev stopped 41 of 46 Avalanche shots.  He faced at least 14 shots in each period.

 

Mikko Rantanen scored two goals and registered an assist.  That gives him 19 goals and 65 points in 42 games.

 

Nathan MacKinnon contributed a goal and two assists.  He has 25 goals and 63 points in 42 contests.

 

Ryan Strome scored the Rangers’ lone goal.  It was his fifth marker and 11th point in 39 games.

 

Philipp Grubauer saved 24 of 25 shots on Friday.  He’s 9-4-3 with a 3.13 GAA and .902 save percentage in 19 contests.

 

NEW JERSEY 3 ARIZONA 2 (SO)

 

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped eight shots in 15:59 minutes before he had to leave the game with a groin injury.  Keith Kinkaid turned aside 15 of 17 shots in relief and was perfect in two shootout rounds to get the win.  We don’t know how serious Blackwood’s injury is yet.

 

Darcy Kuemper kicked out 33 of 35 shots in regulation time.  He was then beaten twice in the shootout, which prevented Arizona from getting the extra point.

 

Christian Fischer found the back of the net for Arizona.  It was his 10th goal and 12th point in 41 games.

 

Nico Hischier netted a goal for the Devils.  He’s up to 11 goals and 28 points in 36 contests.

 

Blake Coleman accounted for New Jersey’s other non-shootout goal.  He has 12 goals and 20 points in 40 games.

 

VEGAS 3 ANAHEIM 2

 

Tomas Nosek found the back of the net and registered an assist.  He has five goals and 11 points in 39 games.

 

Max Pacioretty scored the game-winning goal.  It was his 11th goal and 20th point in 31 contests.  He was also making his return from a lower-body injury that kept him out for two-and-a-half weeks.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 of 27 shots to earn his fourth straight win.  He’s 24-10-4 with a 2.47 GAA and .912 save percentage in 38 starts.

 

Carter Rowney contributed a goal for Anaheim.  He has three goals and nine points in 22 contests.

 

John Gibson saved 39 of 42 Golden Knights shots.  That gives him a 15-12-6 record, 2.60 GAA, and .925 save percentage in 35 games. 



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
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