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Penguins won't decide Game 4 starting goalie until Friday

OTTAWA -- That it took this long to become a debate is a credit to the strong postseason Marc-Andre Fleury has had in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, with the Penguins down 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals to the Ottawa Senators, there is doubt about who will start in goal in Game 4 -- Fleury or Matt Murray.

After practice on Thursday, Fleury said he didn't know yet if he was starting Friday's game. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he would stick to his usual routine of announcing the starting goalie on the morning of game day, leaving the mystery open for another day.

"We have two great goalies," Sullivan said on Thursday. "These guys have both helped us win games. They're terrific goalies. We're fortunate that we have these guys as part of our team. I've said this all year long -- that's one of the strengths of our group."

Fleury has started every playoff game for the Penguins after Murray was injured in warmups prior to Game 1 of the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. For most of the Penguins' run, he's been one of their best players, compiling a .924 save percentage in 15 games.

However, he was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Murray stopped 19 of 20 shots in relief.

"I've really been enjoying this playoff run," Fleury said. "It's not going to go 16 games in a row perfectly. I put that one behind already and I'll be ready to go."

Injured defenseman Justin Schultz didn't skate on Thursday, something Sullivan said was part of the recovery plan. Forwards Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust skated before the team's full practice.

"They're still day-to-day," Sullivan said. "They didn't skate with the team, they're probably not probable [for Game 4]."