Murray close to returning

On the ice

Tonight: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers, 8 p.m.

TV: NBC Sports Network

Records: Penguins (40-26-4); Rangers (31-32-7)

Note: Pens are in 2nd place, a point behind Washington.

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is nearing a return from a concussion that’s sidelined him for two weeks.

Murray faced shots Tuesday before the rest of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions took the ice. Murray hasn’t played since sustaining the concussion after taking a shot to the facemask in practice late last month.

Coach Mike Sullivan says the team is “encouraged” by Murray’s progress. Sullivan added he expects Murray to travel with the Penguins when they begin a three-game road trip against the New York Rangers tonight.

The Penguins are 4-3 since Murray went down and trail first-place Washington by one point in the crowded Metropolitan Division.

Penguins forward Bryan Rust, who has missed the last two games while dealing with a concussion, has been cleared for contact and could join his teammates on the road swing.