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Murray impressing in return from injury

by Matt Tidcombe @matttidcombe

The Ottawa Senators have won back-to-back road games and you can look at Matt Murray as to why.

Yes, the Sens have gotten eight goals out of a 4-0 win in Montreal Saturday and a 4-2 win in Calgary Monday. But, for the most part, Murray has been the driving force behind the two victories.

"He's won us these games," Brady Tkachuk said. "If it wasn't for him, we aren't even close to being in it."

Murray stopped all 23 shots he faced Saturday as the Sens recorded its first shutout under D.J. Smith's tenure in his 116th game behind the bench. It marked the 11th shutout of Murray's career as he's now tallied at least one shutout in all six of his NHL seasons.

"He looks cool, calm, collected," Connor Brown said. "When you get sense of a calming presence in your goalie you feel better as a group in your own end. You don't feel like you have to panic to get the puck out of the zone. You feel like you can just relax and make plays.

"He's been the backbone the last couple of games."

Last night, the 26-year-old stopped 26 shots against the Flames.

"When you get goaltending like that, you can win any night in this league," Sens head coach D.J. Smith said. "Murr looks like he's finding his groove here and giving us a chance."

Murray went more than a month between starts due to an upper-body injury after he pulled himself from warmups on March 14. He made his return on April 14 in a 3-2 loss against Winnipeg before rattling off back-to-back wins.

In his three starts since his return, Murray has a .942 save percentage and 1.68 GAA. He's turned aside 81 of the 86 shots he's faced.

"He looks like a different goalie completely," Smith said. "He looks confident, under control. He's reading the play and doing a great job."

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