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Road-tested Matt Murray to start in goal for Penguins at Carolina | TribLIVE.com
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Road-tested Matt Murray to start in goal for Penguins at Carolina

Jonathan Bombulie
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The puck sails between Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson (73) as Johnson fights off Washington Capitals right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (25) in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, in Washington. The Penguins won 2-1.

RALEIGH, N.C. – Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan hasn’t started choosing his starting goalie based strictly on where the game is being played, but it’s not like the thought hasn’t crossed his mind.

Coming into Saturday night’s game at Carolina, Penguins goalies Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith both had extreme home-road splits this season.

Murray, who will start Saturday night, was great on the road (4-0-1, .937 save percentage) and terrible at home (2-5-0, .844).

DeSmith was great at home (8-2-2, .931) and OK on the road (3-4-2, .916).

A plan where Murray starts road games and DeSmith handles home games doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

A Franken-goalie playing under those circumstances would be 12-2-3 with a .933 save percentage this season. Considering Anaheim leads the league in team save percentage with a .919, that would win the Penguins quite a few games.

Still, Sullivan isn’t ready to take that plunge. Not yet anyway.

“At this point, not really,” he said. “Right now, we’ve played so much hockey over the last little while, we’re trying to utilize both guys. Both guys are playing extremely well for us. That’s really the main discussion that the coaching staff has. We are aware of the records.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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