NHL Buzz: Murray out for season opener for Senators


Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.


Dallas Stars

Braden Holtby will make his debut with the Stars against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; MSG, BSSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Holtby, who signed a one-year contract with the Stars on July 28 after his contract was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks, was competing with goalies Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger in training camp.

“We feel whoever had the best camp was going to play,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “[Holtby] had a really solid camp, he knows this team he’s played in this rink an awful lot over his career… actually a pretty easy decision.”

Holtby was 1-0-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in three preseason games; he is 13-10-1 with a 2.47 GAA, .917 save percentage and one shutout in 25 career games against the Rangers.


Ottawa Senators

Matt Murray won’t play for the Senators in their season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, TSN4, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The goalie took part in the morning skate after practicing Wednesday. He was not on the Tuesday because of an illness.

“I’m definitely still fighting something. Not COVID, though,” Murray said Wednesday. “I tested negative three times so that’s a positive. I’m still running less than 100 percent right now.”

Murray was 10-13-1 with a 3.38 goals-against average, an .893 save percentage and two shutouts in 27 games (25 starts) last season, his first with the Senators.

Anton Forsberg will start and Filip Gustavsson will be the backup against the Maple Leafs. Forsberg was 3-4-1 with a 3.21 GAA and .909 save percentage in eight games with the Senators last season.


Philadelphia Flyers

Rasmus Ristolainen is day to day with an upper-body injury and the defenseman is questionable for the Flyers season opener against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Ristolainen was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Robert Hagg and two draft picks on July 23. He scored 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) and averaged 22:17 in ice time in 49 games last season.

Forward Patrick Brown was placed in COVID-19 protocol. He was claimed on waivers from the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.

Defenseman Nick Seeler and forwards Jackson Cates and Max Willman were recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. — Adam Kimelman


New York Islanders 

Semyon Varlamov won’t be available when the Islanders play their season opener at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, BSSO, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). 

The goalie was placed on injured reserve and has been dealing with soreness, coach Barry Trotz said. Varlamov did not practice with the team during training camp.

Ilya Sorokin is expected to start against the Hurricanes, with Cory Schneider as the backup. 

“I do not think it lingered any longer,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Wednesday of Varlamov’s injury. “We knew that we were going to give it as much possible time as necessary to be 100 percent, and that’s what we’re doing. But we’re extremely comfortable that it won’t be long.” 

Varlamov was 19-11-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 36 games (35 starts) last season and tied for the NHL lead with seven shutouts. He was 7-7 with a 2.56 GAA and .922 save percentage in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff starts. 

Sorokin is entering his second NHL season. He was 13-6-3 with a 2.17 GAA, .918 save percentage and three shutouts in 22 games (21 starts) last season. — Brian Compton

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