SNAPSHOT: Coach DJ Smith stays with Anton Forsberg as Senators face Devils

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It was no surprise when Anton Forsberg led the Ottawa Senators onto the ice for Monday’s warm-up at the Prudential Center.

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The Ottawa Senators net is a land of opportunity right now with top goaltender Matt Murray adjusting for the club’s AHL branch in Belleville and the top position here is wide open.

With back-to-back wins for Forsberg, it didn’t make sense to go to Filip Gustavsson in those makeup matches against the New Jersey Devils. No, Forsberg wasn’t at his best allowing five goals on 31 shots against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, but the club won 6-5 in overtime so why change?

Considering this is a back-to-back situation with the New York Islanders waiting to face the Senators on Tuesday at the Canadian Tire Center, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gustavsson, but Forsberg deserved the chance to stay in. the net after the club won back-to-back wins.

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There have been many nights the Senators have done enough to help their goaltenders and they’ve leaned too heavily on them, but this is one of the areas they are working on trying to get back on track. The club performed better in their own zone on Saturday than in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

OUT OF THE GLASS

One group that made a big impression with Smith is Dylan Grambell’s lineage with wingers Zach Sanford and Austin Watson.

They started the party on Saturday when Gambrell fed Watson for his first goal of the season against Colorado.

“First line, fourth line, whatever you want to call it, that’s a big line,” Smith told reporters in Newark. “They know how to play in the NHL, it takes little things every shift. They’re swinging for us, they’re big and heavy, they finish the hits and the last game they scored a goal. For me they have been one of our best bloodlines.

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The trio feed on each other well.

“We are starting to do chemistry. There’s a lot of communication between us and that’s a great thing, ”said Gambrell. “We just have to try to keep pushing the attack for us.”

BELOW IN THE FARM

The club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville saw his postponed road game against Hartford on Wednesday due to COVID-19 … Ottawa was without defenseman Dillon Heatherington in Newark. He tested negative for COVID-19 but was exposed to someone infected with the virus. Called from Belleville on Saturday to dress, he was to be placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Belleville coach Troy Mann was also placed in protocol not on the bench for Sunday’s games against Manitoba. Following the arrival of Heatherington from Belleville, the NHL, NHLPA and local medical authorities forced him out. That meant Victor Mete, who was a healthy scratch against the Avs, returned on Monday. No decision has been made on whether Heatherington will be able to play against the Isles on Tuesday… Winger Pontus Aberg, who has played 17 games at Belleville, cleared tie-ups on Monday and his contract will be terminated. He spent last season in the Continental Hockey League in Russia and it would make sense if he wanted to grab an opportunity there. Aberg is 28, so he’s not really a prospect anymore. He was selected No. 37 overall by Nashville in 2012.

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THE LAST WORDS

Murray stopped 30 of 33 shots in a 3-1 loss to Manitoba Moose in his debut on Saturday.
“It was good to be back there,” Murray told reporters in Belleville on Saturday.
“I didn’t play a lot, just with COVID-19 and the travel, it was just nice to come back there. I felt really good. Unfortunately, that was not enough to win.
“I thought my timing was pretty good considering I hadn’t played a lot, it’s still the only thing you worry about with a lot of free time is that playing timing because you don’t. you just aren’t used to it. It is difficult to reproduce a game in practice. My level of competition was good. Overall I was pretty happy with the performance.

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