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Murray, Forsberg could return this season for Senators

Goalies were each injured Saturday; Hogberg, Gustavsson to dress against Canucks

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer

Matt Murray and Anton Forsberg could each return for the Ottawa Senators this season.  

The goalies, who were each injured Saturday, were said to be out indefinitely by coach D.J. Smith on Monday, but Smith said Tuesday Forsberg could play Saturday at the Montreal Canadiens, and Murray could return prior to Ottawa's final game of the season, which is scheduled against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 12.

"'Murr' is a little better news than we thought, so we're hopeful that he'll get back before the end and we can get him a couple games before the end of the schedule," Smith said.

Forsberg sustained an undisclosed injury Saturday during warmups as the scheduled starter against the Vancouver Canucks. Murray left the 4-2 loss in the second period with a lower-body injury after allowing one goal in 24:13.

Smith said he was unsure if goalie Marcus Hogberg or Filip Gustavsson would start against the Canucks on Wednesday (5:30 p.m. ET; TVAS, TSN5, SNP, NHL.TV).

Hogberg made 25 saves in a 2-1 win against Vancouver on Monday.

Murray is 10-13-1 with a 3.38 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in 27 games (25 starts) this season. He was traded to Ottawa by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 7 and signed a four-year, $25 million contract ($6.25 million average annual value) with the Senators two days later. After a slow start to the season, Murray had three wins and two shutouts in his past three starts after Zac Bierk was named goaltending coach April 6.

Hogberg, who was elevated from the taxi squad, replaced Murray on Saturday. Forward Artem Anisimov, who was on the taxi squad, put on goalie equipment and was Ottawa's emergency backup if needed.

"Just warming up before the game, he got tangled up," Smith said of Forsberg on Monday. "Stuff happens. It's unfortunate, but hopefully he'll be back soon."

Kevin Mandolese was recalled from Belleville of the American Hockey League on Monday and is Ottawa's third goalie.

Smith said the entire team appreciated Anisimov's gesture.

"A guy who's been in the League this long (770 games) easily didn't have to do that," Smith said. "It's a lot of credit to him and his character.

"The guys certainly enjoyed seeing him in [goalie equipment]."

Forsberg is 2-3-1 with a 3.18 GAA and .910 save percentage in six games for the Senators. Hogberg is 3-7-0 with a 3.82 GAA and .877 save percentage in 13 games (nine starts). Gustavsson is 2-1-1 with a 1.81 GAA and .946 save percentage in four games (three starts).

Smith also said Tuesday that forward Austin Watson will not play again this season because of a hand injury sustained blocking a shot during a game March 22.

"It's a very unfortunate loss," Smith said. "A guy in the room the guys love and brings a really good element to our team. There's lots to look forward to in the upcoming season and Austin is one of those."

Watson scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 34 games.

Ottawa (18-27-4) is last in the seven-team Scotia North Division, 11 points behind the fourth-place Canadiens. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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