Source: Eric Hartzell may start Monday

(AP/John Hassett)

The dream season just keeps getting dreamier for former Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell.

Fresh off of leading the Bobcats to the brink of an NCAA championship last week and being named as a Hobey Baker finalist, a source close to Hartzell says that he may get his first career NHL start on Monday night.

Hartzell signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins almost immediately following the Frozen Four last week.  He has practiced with the Penguins since arriving in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and could get the nod when the team takes on the Senators in Ottawa.

The Pens have just four games left in the regular season and have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The source says that they may take the opportunity to start Hartzell and see what he brings to the table while resting starter Marc Andre Fleury and backup Brent Johnson for the playoffs.

Hartzell’s contract runs through the end of the regular season. Still, no matter how well he plays, he won’t get the chance to help the Penguins in their quest to lift a fourth Stanley Cup.

Hartzell is ineligible to play in the postseason because he joined the team later than the free agent deadline of April 3.

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