PITTSBURGH – Matt Murray’s steadiness in the face of adversity is one of the reasons the Pittsburgh Penguins made the precocious 21-year-old the primary backup goaltender behind Marc-Andre Fleury.
Surrendering two goals to Carolina in the opening five minutes Thursday night, Murray could have panicked. He didn’t. Of course, having Sidney Crosby around helps.
Murray shut the door over the final 55 minutes and Crosby collected a pair of highlight-reel goals as the Penguins pushed their winning streak to four by rallying for a 4-2 victory.
“You give up two goals early in a game like that, a lot of time with young goalies that can rattle him,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “And he has a maturity about him beyond his years. He has a calm demeanor and he doesn’t get rattled.”
Murray finished with 31 saves, including a sliding stop to break up a two-on-none midway through the first period that seemed to give his teammates the boost they needed.
Crosby beat Eddie Lack with a slick backhander in the first to cut the deficit in half and added a redirect from his knees in the second to give the Penguins the lead as Pittsburgh strengthened its grip on seventh in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff race.
Cole finished with two assists. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist and Nick Bonino netted his fifth of the year for Pittsburgh. The Penguins improved to 12-3-1 in their last 16 games against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Phillip Di Giuseppe and Riley Nash scored for Carolina.
Coyotes 3, Sharks 1
In Glendale, Arizona, Shane Doan scored with 1:31 left, Mike Smith stopped 27 shots in his first home game in nearly four months and the Coyotes took advantage of two disallowed goals to beat the Sharks.
Kings 4, Rangers 3 (OT)
In Los Angeles, Anze Kopitar got the tying goal with 4:10 to play and redirected the winner at 1:34 of overtime.
Stars 4, Lightning 3
In Dallas, Jamie Benn scored two goals to give him a career-best 36, and the Stars took sole possession of first place in the Western Conference by rallying past Tampa Bay.
Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 1
In Toronto, Jussi Jokinen scored two unusual goals to help lift Florida over the Maple Leafs.
Devils 7, Wild 4
In Newark, Devante Smith-Pelly, Mike Sislo and Adam Henrique scored two goals apiece and the Devils had their best offensive performance of the season.
Predators 4, Islanders 2
In Nashville, James Neal and Ryan Johansen each had a goal and added an assist for the hosts.
Red Wings 3, Blue Jackets 1
In Columbus, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg and Darren Helm scored in the third period.
Morrow hangs up skates
Dallas — Brenden Morrow is retiring with the Dallas Stars after a 15-year career that started and ended with trips to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Morrow, 37, signed a ceremonial one-day contract Thursday with the franchise that drafted him in the first round in 1997. He spent 12-plus seasons with the Stars, including his rookie season in 1999-2000 when the defending Cup champions lost to New Jersey in the finals.