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Penguins to go with rookie goalie Matt Murray in Game 6 vs. Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will go back to rookie netminder Matt Murray with their season on the line in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.

The Penguins trail the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in the best-of-seven conference finals series having lost Game 5 in Pittsburgh 4-3 in overtime. Veteran netminder Marc-Andre Fleury started that game, his first start since suffering a concussion on March 31. He looked sharp early on but admitted after the game to having felt rusty, and he looked shaky in the third period when the Lightning tied the game before ultimately winning 53 seconds into overtime on a Tyler Johnson deflection.

Fleury, who played the third period of the Penguins' 4-3 loss in Game 4 for his first playoff action this spring, allowed four goals on 25 shots in Game 5.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan announced the change after the morning skate Tuesday.

"We try to put players on the ice that we think give us the best chance to win," Sullivan said of the decision to go back to Murray. "He's won a lot of big games for us."

Murray, who spent most of the season playing in the American Hockey League before being called up after Fleury's late March injury, has been solid for the most part since coming on in relief of former backup netminder Jeff Zatkoff in Game 3 of the opening round of the playoffs.

The 21-year-old Murray is 9-4 with a .923 save percentage in the playoffs.

The Penguins insisted the change will have no bearing on their preparation for a must-win situation Tuesday night in Tampa.

"To be honest it's not a distraction in the least," veteran forward Eric Fehr said. "We're not worried about it at all. It's not talked about. We're focused on playing hard."

Captain Sidney Crosby said Murray has proven wise beyond his years during this playoff run.

"Just really confident," Crosby said Tuesday morning. "It doesn't seem like any situation has really fazed him or surprised him.

"He's handled each challenge like he's been through it way beyond his years. He's always been confident and showed a lot of poise and that's the biggest thing that has stuck out to me."