Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson returns tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, reports the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. Anderson left the team for a second time this month following his wife Nicholle’s cancer diagnosis. The Sens reassigned goaltender Chris Driedger back to Binghamton to make room for Anderson.
Anderson initially left the team in October when his wife was first diagnosed, but returned after the Sens backup goaltender Andrew Hammond went down with an injury. Anderson posted two wins in his brief return, including an emotional shutout against the Edmonton Oilers. He then left the team again to be with his wife while the Senators announced that there was no timetable for his return.
It may not be a coincidence that tonight’s return is the same day as the NHL promotes Cancer Awareness day, and his presence is sure to garner extra attention. Anderson’s play, however, deserves attention regardless of what event the NHL is promoting. Anderson boasts a 6-1-0 record with a .924SV% and a 2.24GAA. And while it is a small sample size, his performance provides Ottawa with the goaltending stability necessary for the young team to progress.