TAMPA — We might never know how close Mike Sullivan came to replacing Penguins rookie goaltender Matt Murray with Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final Monday night, but this much is certain: Murray has justified his coach's trust.
It was at the start of the second period Monday night that Sullivan told Fleury to be ready. Murray had allowed a bad goal to the Lightning's Jonathan Drouin in the final minute of the first period that tied Game 2, 2-2. There was a palpable feeling in Consol Energy Center — and maybe in the Penguins' room — that the next Tampa Bay goal would send Murray to the bench and Fleury onto the ice, perhaps for the remainder of the playoffs.
It never came in that game.