Matt Murray suffered a blow earlier this season when he was demoted to the American League to find his rhythm. Back with the Ottawa Senators, the Ontarian finally recorded his first win in 2021-2022 on Thursday.
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In his eighth appearance of the campaign, the two-time Stanley Cup champion was finally on the winning side, as the “Sens” defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1. Murray made 27 saves and appeared in trust.
“I felt good today [jeudi], but to be honest, I always felt good this season, said the 27-year-old goalkeeper at a press conference. On the other hand, it was very nice to get this result tonight. We fought for a long time without success, so it feels good.”
Murray’s win, the Senators’ first since Dec. 14, builds on practices held by the club over the past two weeks. Ottawa has been forced into inactivity by COVID-19, but the head coach is happy to see that the efforts of his proteges have yielded results.
“He looked good in training. He’s never looked better since he’s been here, DJ Smith said of the doorman. He works hard and it’s good to see him rewarded for his efforts. He’s had some tough times.”
Smith was also the main detractor of the former Pittsburgh Penguins, who had not been convincing at the start of the campaign and since his arrival in Ottawa in 2020.
For the Senators, the spark plug was Nick Paul, who had been out since Dec. 18. The left winger scored twice against the Flames.
“He did a great job. He shot at the net, he was powerful. He did everything you want to see from a guy coming back to the game. He was our best player tonight,” said the head coach.
In December, the Senators suffered heavy setbacks, but also scored big wins over the Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, three powerhouses in the National Hockey League. They are capable of the best, as well as the worst.
“We were on our feet tonight! We were dynamic, we shot the net. We were above them and we didn’t get a lot of penalties,” Smith said.
“We were well organized and we played hockey the way the Senators did,” Murray said. They had their chances, they pushed, but we calmed the storm. I would say it’s one of the best games we’ve played this year.”
The Senators will wrap up a six-game road streak by visiting the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Sad luck for Connor Brown
The Ottawa Senators will be without wing Connor Brown indefinitely after he suffered a broken jaw during the warm-up prior to Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames.
That’s what head instructor DJ Smith said Friday, as reported by radio channel TSN 1200. Brown was hit in the face by a puck and thought he got away with it without too much harm. Moreover, he participated in the game of the evening, registering a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory. Smith simply added that he will be absent for “a while”.
The 28-year-old has 19 points, including five goals, in 26 outings this season.