Craig Anderson will be on the bench Thursday night at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators goaltender has a lower body injury and won’t be ready to start, which means backup Curtis McElhinney will make his third appearance in the net since being picked on waivers Feb. 28.
McElhinney, who made 34 stops in 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum last Thursday, is going to be making his first start at home in an Ottawa uniform.
Coach Cory Clouston said Anderson, who has given up nine goals in his last two starts, should be fine for the weekend with the Tampa Bay Lightning coming to town Saturday night.
“He’s got a little bit of an aggravation in the lower body but he should be ready to go (Saturday),” said Clouston. “If he had to play he’d be ready (Thursday) but we don’t want to risk anything.”
Defenceman David Hale and winger Roman Wick have been recalled from the club’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton to suit up. They’ll replace Andre Benoit and Jim O’Brien, who both played in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hale, who missed a month in Binghamton because of an illness, has plenty of NHL experience.
“His game has been coming on,” said Clouston. “Now, is a good time to get up here.”
The Devils had made a remarkable comeback from No. 15 in the East to put themselves in a playoff postion with 13 games left. New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire was asked if he ever expected to get into the race.
“Never,” said Lemaire. “Never.”