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Hammond back with Senators; O'Connor sent to AHL

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Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond is back on the active roster after a groin injury, and emergency recall Matthew O'Connor was assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

Hammond, 27, sustained a groin injury near the end of training camp. In his absence, veteran Craig Anderson started and won two games. O'Connor, an undrafted free agent, made 31 saves in his NHL debut Sunday, a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Hammond told the Ottawa Sun he has been skating on his own for 4-5 days.

"We started slow then kind of ramped it up, and the last two days have kind of been full go," he said. "I think we're at a point now I feel good, there's no pain. We're all good at this point."

Hammond, nicknamed "The Hamburglar," is returning a bit sooner than the two weeks he was expected to be sidelined.

"I think we're coming in a little shy of that," he said, "but I've always been someone who kind of heals quickly. ??? In my mind I thought I was going to be ready for the opener, and when it comes to be the day before and you're really not close, you get a little discouraged.

"But obviously the fact I'm back a little ahead of the timeline is good. The work I've done now has obviously helped a lot."

Hammond was 20-1-2 last season with a 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in 24 games, rallying the Senators to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after he was recalled following injuries to Anderson and Robin Lehner. The Senators traded Lehner to the Buffalo Sabres during the offseason and signed Hammond to a three-year, $4.05 million contract.

The Senators play back-to-back games on the road Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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