|Craig Anderson, the Sens' newest goalie, will play his first game for Ottawa against the Maple Leafs tonight. (QMI Agency/Tony Caldwell)
TORONTO - The Next One will make his debut for the Senators Saturday night.
Craig Anderson, obtained for Brian Elliott in Ottawa's most recent trade, will start in goal for the visitors when they take on the Maple Leafs in a Hockey Night in Canada telecast at Air Canada Centre.
It’s hoped that the 29-year-old Anderson, who is eligible to test the unrestricted free agent market in the summer, can be the answer to a problem that has haunted the Senators in most recent years. That is, the area between the pipes.
“Obviously it’s been an area that’s been a weakness for us this year,” said coach Cory Clouston. “Craig will start tonight and we’ve just got to play well in front of him. He’s just got to go out there and play his game and do his job with some support from the rest of the team.”
Anderson, a native of Park Ridge, Ill., who spent his junior career with the OHL's Guelph Storm, has had impressive career numbers versus the Leafs. He has a 3-1 career record against Toronto that includes a 1.98 GAA and .941 save percentage.
His last visit to Toronto was two years ago, when, as a member of the Florida Panthers, he stopped 30 shots in a 4-1 victory.
Anderson, 29, has had a shaky 2010-11 to date, however.
With the Colorado Avalanche he was 13-15-3 with a 3.28 GAA and a .897 save percentage.
“For me it’s just a chance to come in here and have an opportunity to play a good game out there, for my first one,” said Anderson, who will be backed up by rookie Robin Lehner.
“I’ve had some success against Toronto in years past, with different teams, but this is a new game, a new year and different players. So I just want to go out there and give the team a chance to win.”