September 26, 2016

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) Matt Murray's broken right hand doesn't hurt in general. Just when the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender tries to get a firm grasp on his stick.

And that's kind of the problem. While the ligament Murray busted diving across the crease while with Team North American in the World Cup of Hockey won't keep him out long-term, for the 23-year-old coming off a Stanley Cup victory, any little setback is tough to take.

''I was really shocked,'' Murray said on Monday. ''It's happened to me before where you jam your thumb ... (usually) it turns out to be a contusion type of thing, a bone bruise. That's what I thought. I thought it was minor.''

In the grand scheme of things, it is. And if there's any time a player can miss three to six weeks, it's during training camp and the early portion of a regular season that stretches on for more than six months. That doesn't mean Murray has to like it.

''It kind of sucks not knowing because I don't feel that bad to be honest,'' Murray said. ''It's a bit of a weird thing.''

A thing that will delay what is the most interesting subplot heading into 2016-17: who will serve as the team's No. 1 goaltender. Murray played capably while backstopping the Penguins to their fourth championship while veteran Marc-Andre Fleury watched even after recovering from a late-season concussion.

Coach Mike Sullivan has remained diplomatic entering camp, saying both will get a chance to play extensively. Fleury will start in the exhibition opener on Tuesday in Chicago while Murray waits for his hand to heal. Patience is not one of his virtues.

''Obviously I want to play but you don't want to push yourself too early and reaggravate it,'' Murray said. ''I really don't know. I've never had an injury to the ligament. It's hard to tell.''

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