Matt Murray made 32 saves to collect his 10th shutout of the season as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins put an end to a three-game winless streak with a 3-0 victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday at PPL Center in Allentown, Pa.
Murray became just the fourth goaltender in American Hockey League history reach 10 shutouts in a season, while also breaking the record for shutouts in a season by a rookie. The previous rookie mark was set by Gordie Bell of the Buffalo Bisons during the 1942-43 season, and later tied by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ Wade Dubielewicz in 2003-04.
With the game scoreless in the second period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went up, 2-0, in quick fashion on back-to-back goals by Tom Kostopoulos and Bobby Farnham. After the Penguins won a battle in the corner of the Phantoms zone, Kostopoulos circled off the near wall with the puck and let loose with a wrist shot that beat Lehigh Valley goalie Rob Zepp over the blocker at 11:15.
Farnham doubled Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead 63 seconds later when he outraced a defender to a loose puck at the near dot before hammering a shot that found the top right corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Down by two to start the third period, Lehigh Valley outshot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 13-4, in the frame, but would be unable to get the puck past Murray. Defenseman Scott Harrington completed the scoring for the Penguins with an empty-net goal with 0.8 seconds left in regulation.
Murray’s record goes to 21-8-3 on the season, including 10-0-1 (0.72, .974, 6 SO) in his last 11 starts.
Zepp turned aside 16 of 18 shots in net for Lehigh Valley.