As expected, the Ottawa Senators have recalled goaltender Kevin Mandolese from their AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators. The move comes after Senators goalie Anton Forsberg had to be stretchered off the ice during last night’s game due to a lower-body injury. He will be out indefinitely with MCL tears in both knees.
Mandolese’s recall comes as the Forsberg injury puts the Senators’ difficult goalie situation into an even more dire state. Veteran Cam Talbot is already on injured reserve and expected to miss another week, according to Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch.
The team already has 2019 second-round pick Mads Sogaard on the active roster on an emergency loan, and now Mandolese heads to the active roster as well having previously started games this season at both the AHL and ECHL level. He has a .879 save percentage at the AHL level this season and a .927 in the ECHL.
With both Sogaard and Mandolese up in the NHL, the AHL Senators are now forced to rely on minor-league veteran Antoine Bibeau, as well as ECHL trade acquisition Logan Flodell, who has an .800 save percentage in the AHL so far.
The loss of Sanderson, though, is perhaps even more discouraging given the success he has had in his rookie season. The Senators are interested in playing meaningful, competitive hockey down the stretch even though their playoff hopes remain in long-shot territory.
Losing Sanderson, who has helped their penalty kill and overall defensive game, for two weeks will likely hurt them in the standings if the Senators’ other defensemen can’t pick up and capably fill the minutes he leaves.