As noted earlier this week, Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson is going through a tough stretch in his personal life with the recent news of his wife’s cancer diagnosis. At his wife’s insistence, Anderson has returned from a brief leave of absence and will be pressed right back into service tonight between the pipes for the Senators, who are in Edmonton to play the red hot Oilers. Bruce Garrioch confirmed via Twitter that Anderson will get the start tonight as Ottawa attempts to snap the Oilers five-game winning streak.
Anderson has won four of his five starts this season despite a GAA approaching three and a S% just above 90%. Now in his 14th NHL season, Anderson has won 217 career games and has twice finished fourth in Vezina voting. During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Anderson led the league in GAA (1.69) and S% (94.1%).
With Andrew Hammond now on IR the Senators desperately need Anderson, though it would be understandable if the veteran netminder’s focus is somewhat divided. It’s likely most everyone outside of Edmonton is going to be an Ottawa Senators and Craig Anderson fan tonight.
More from the NHL’s Atlantic Division:
- Physical winger Nicolas Deslauriers of the Buffalo Sabres left Saturday’s win over Florida after a collision along the boards in the game’s final minute, writes Amy Moritz of The Buffalo News. Later, Mike Harrington, also of the Buffalo News, revealed on Twitter that Deslauriers has a knee injury and will be out of the lineup for “weeks.” To replace the four-year veteran in the lineup, at least for the time being, the Sabres have recalled winger Nicholas Baptiste from Rochester of the AHL, once again courtesy of Harrington. Baptiste has already appeared in two games this season for Buffalo – the first NHL action of his career – and scored his first career NHL goal on October 20th.
- Cory Conacher, who was recalled on Friday to take the place of the injured Nikita Kucherov, has been returned to Syracuse of the AHL, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. Conacher played 13:26 last night for the Lightning but didn’t register a point and recorded a -1 plus-minus rating. Smith suggests the reassignment of Conacher could mean that Kucherov or perhaps even Ryan Callahan is ready to return to the lineup for tonight’s contest against the New York Rangers. As Smith also notes, it would be fitting for Callahan, who has yet to play this season following hip surgery this summer, to make his 2016-17 debut against his former team. It’s also possible head coach Jon Cooper will simply dress seven defensemen; a tactic he utilized on many occasions last season.
- Originally listed as day-to-day due to a lower-body-injury, it now appears as if Detroit forward Thomas Vanek has been downgraded to week-to-week and is expected to miss the next few games, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com. Vanek is off to a good start in his first year in Detroit, scoring four goals and eight points in his first seven contests. Detroit was considered a fringe playoff team at best coming into the season but the Austrian winger has helped the Wings to a 6 – 3- 0 start and a second place standing in the Atlantic. His extended absence is certainly bad news for a Wings club that has overachieved to this point.