NHL Buzz: Murray injured for Maple Leafs, uncertain against Senators

Toronto Maple Leafs

Matt Murray‘s availability for the Maple Leafs game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday is uncertain.

“Murray had some discomfort in his groin in the morning skate so we just decided it made sense to remove him from the skate, get him assessed and that process is still ongoing,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “So we’ll get him assessed this afternoon in the next little bit and make some determinations on his status for tonight based on that. It’s still too early to give much on ‘what-if’ scenarios.

“It happened in the skate today, he was 100 percent fine (after his start against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday).”

Murray made 19 saves in a 4-3 loss to the Canadiens in his Maple Leafs debut. He was acquired in a trade with the Senators on July 11.

Murray, who was expected to start against the Senators (7 pm ET; CBC, SNO, SNW, SNP, ESPN+, SN NOW), left the ice following the first series of drills during the morning skate after consulting with goalie coach Curtis Sanford and did not return.

Keefe said that Ilya Samsonovwho made 24 saves in a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, is preparing as if he will start, although Murray could still play if he is medically cleared.

Goalie Eric Kallgren sustained an injury on Friday with Toronto of the American Hockey League, so it is unclear who would back up Samsonov if Murray is unable to dress. — Dave McCarthy

New Jersey Devils

Nico Hischier will make his season debut for the Devils against the Red Wings (7 pm ET; MSG, BSDET, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The center missed a 5-2 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday because of a hamstring strain he sustained in a 2-1 preseason win at the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 26.

“I’m feeling good, definitely more confident and I’ll be in tonight,” Hischier said. “I feel where I want to be. I’m just looking forward to play a game, get out there with the guys, battle in front of our home crowd. It’s going to be a fun game, a great atmosphere, so I’ I’m definitely pumped for this game.”

Hischier set NHL career highs in goals (21), assists (39) and points (60) in 70 games last season.

“I think that once Nico goes in, everything changes,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “We’re getting a great competitor, a real good leader, and we know what he can do. A little bit disappointed that he had to miss some time, but obviously to get him back is great.” — Mike G. Morreale

St. Louis Blues

Alexey Toropchenko will play for the Blues in the season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets (8 p.m. ET; BSMW, BSOH, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The forward was originally projected to be out until mid-December following offseason shoulder surgery in July that Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said was a 4-5 month recovery before Toropchenko was reevaluated.

“He’s good to go,” Blues coach Craig Berube said Saturday. “We’re excited, he’s excited. He’s a good player for us. I thought he brought a lot last year to our team and in the playoffs. We’re really excited that he’s early, going to play.”

Toropchenko had two goals in 28 regular-season games and two assists in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season.

“Yep, 100 percent,” Toropchenko said Friday when asked if he was playing. “Excited, feels strong, healthy, ready to go. Of course, hard work all summer. You can see where I’m at right now. Way ahead of schedule and I’m ready to go.”

Forward Logan Brown, who sustained an upper-body injury in a 5-2 preseason loss to the Dallas Stars on Oct. 1, did not practice Friday, and will not play. — Lou Korac

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards Owen Tippett oath Cam Atkinsonand defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all will be out when the Flyers host the Vancouver Canucks (4 p.m. ET; SNP, NBCSP, ESPN+, SN NOW).

Tippett was placed on injured reserve Saturday because of an upper-body injury sustained in a collision with New Jersey Devils forward Ondrej Palat with 36 seconds left in the first period of the Flyers’ 5-2 win Thursday.

Atkinson (upper body) and Ristolainen (undisclosed) are day to day. Atkinson has been out since Sept. 25; Ristolainen left practice early Wednesday, but coach John Tortorella said the injury had been lingering.

Forward Jackson Cates was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, and defenseman Ronnie Attard was sent to the AHL. Forward Hayden Hodgson was placed on waivers, and forward Linus Sandin cleared waivers and returned to Sweden for personal reasons. — Adam Kimelman

Boston Bruins

Jake DeBrusk will not play for the Bruins against the Arizona Coyotes (7 pm ET; NESN, BSAZ, ESPN+, SN NOW) because of an upper-body injury.

“He’s not eligible to play tomorrow but we think that he’s going to be back sooner than we expected when it originally happened so that’s good news,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said Friday.

DeBrusk was injured in a 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Thursday on a hit from Alex Ovechkin with 40 seconds remaining in the second period.

Trent Frederic will enter the lineup with DeBrusk out.

Arizona Coyotes

Nick Schmaltz will not play for the Coyotes at the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; NESN, BSAZ, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The forward sustained an upper-body injury in the first period of a season-opening 6-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

Schmaltz was second on the Coyotes in goals (23) and points (59) in 63 games last season.

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