Anderson improving, but won't start

Craig Anderson skated Tuesday in Tampa Bay with only a small stick and didn’t take any shots. (Joel...

Craig Anderson skated Tuesday in Tampa Bay with only a small stick and didn’t take any shots. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images/AFP)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

Craig Anderson is inching closer to a return.

The Senators goalie took the ice Thursday at Scotiabank Place with a stick in his hand. But, when it came to taking shots, he dropped the stick and took live action for the first time since cutting his hand without anything in his damaged hand.

Still, that’s a good sign for Anderson. He skated Tuesday in Tampa Bay with only a small stick and didn’t take any shots. There’s no timetable for his comeback, but it might not be long if he can return to full practice next week.

Goaltender Ben Bishop, coming off a 25-save performance in a 7-3 victory over Tampa Tuesday, will make his first start at home tonight when the Senators tackle the New York Rangers.

Bishop said this is his not his first time playing in a Canadian city.

“I’ve played in Edmonton and Calgary so I kind of have an idea what the Canadian rinks are like,” said Bishop, who will wear a plain white mask until his new one arrives from a designer in Sweden. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s exciting.”

The Senators will make only one change -- with centre Jim O’Brien returning to the lineup in place of Zenon Konopka. O’Brien was a late scratch versus the Bolts. Defenceman Chris Phillips, who broke his nose after getting hit by Adam Hall during Tuesday's game, is going to be in the lineup.

Phillips will play with a full shield.

The Senators won’t get to see goalie Henrik Lundqvist. His 26-game consecutive start streak vs. the Senators has been halted. Martin Biron will be in the net for New York.

This could be a preview of a first-round playoff matchup.

“We’ve been the playoff atmosphere for the last 20 games,” said winger Nick Foligno. “We could possible play a lot of teams, it’s so tight right now. We’re looking to be a real good team. Nothing else.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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