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murray_matt150307

Murray has records in his sights

Matt Murray made 32 saves for his fourth consecutive shutout on Saturday afternoon, leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-0 win over the Manchester Monarchs and starting a rewrite of the American Hockey League record book that could continue with his next appearance.

Murray has nine shutouts this season for the Penguins, tying a 72-year-old record for an AHL rookie. Gordie Bell posted nine shutouts with the Buffalo Bisons in 1942-43, and Wade Dubielewicz matched the feat with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2003-04.

In recording four straight shutouts, Murray has now gone 245 minutes and 22 seconds without allowing a goal. The AHL record for longest shutout streak is 268:17, set by Barry Brust as a member of the Abbotsford Heat in 2012. The second-longest streak belongs to Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower, who shut out opponents of his Cleveland Barons for 249:51 in 1957.

Murray is now 17-8-2 in 29 appearances for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, leading the AHL in shutouts, goals-against average (1.59) and save percentage (.939). He has shutouts in five of his last six starts, allowing only one goal — a 5-on-3 power-play marker to Bridgeport on Feb. 8 — on 160 shots in that span (6-0-0, 0.17, .994, 5 SO). Since the AHL All-Star break, Murray is 7-1-0 with a 0.54 GAA, a .980 save percentage and six shutouts in eight games.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 13-2-1-1 as a team in its last 17 games, is next in action Sunday afternoon at Springfield. The Penguins return home Wednesday to face Hershey.