Senators placing Matt Murray on waivers after scratching goalie vs. Ducks

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) cannot make the stop on a shot by San Jose Sharks left wing Matt Nieto during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (Tony Avelar/AP Photo)

After Matt Murray was a healthy scratch on Friday against the Anaheim Ducks, the Ottawa Senators will be placing him on waivers on Saturday, head coach D.J. Smith confirmed.

"We want him to get going, he'll be on waivers today and if someone picks him up he will get an opportunity there," Smith told Sens TV. "If he doesn't, he'll likely go down to Belleville and get an opportunity to play and get his game back.

"By no means is this on Matt Murray. We want him to be the best goalie possible and give him the best chance. I think a lot of this revolves around the fact he's had a lot of injuries, and there's nothing you can do about it with COVID. He's missed a lot of time and hasn't been able to get into a rhythm. We certainly got to play better in front of him as well. We got to take some blame there. But this is about getting his game back."

Murray struggled after joining the Senators via trade before last season, and has been mired in another troubled campaign in 2021-22.

After a bout with COVID-19, the 27-year-old made his return to the crease against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, allowing four goals on 27 shots in the team's 6-3 loss. On the season, he's gone 0-5 with a 3.27 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage.

Following the loss to the Sharks, Senators coach D.J. Smith singled out the team's goaltending performance, though stopped short of naming Murray specifically.

“I didn’t mind our details. I just think we’ve got to get someone to take the net and start to win us some games when we give that effort. We need someone to get in there and hold us right now," Smith said. “We’re a young team that needs someone to steal one for us, probably."

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Murray is in the second year of his four-year, $6.25 million deal with Ottawa.

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