Anderson a cut above for Sens
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Ottawa Senators' goalie Craig Anderson. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)
WINNIPEG - So much for Craig Anderson easing back into work.
The Senators goaltender, fresh off a month-long break after cutting his hand during an accident in the kitchen, will make his third consecutive appearance in four days on Monday when Ottawa faces the Jets in Winnipeg.
Backup goalie Ben Bishop didn’t make the trip as a result of a lower-body injury (it appeared to be his knee) he suffered in Saturday’s 8-4 victory over the Penguins, which means Anderson will carry the club down the stretch.
Forced to take over in the second period against the Penguins, Anderson stopped 12-of-13 shots — which was a lot better than his return outing Friday night against the Habs when he was shelled and pulled in a 5-1 loss.
“I know you’ve got to be ready at all times. That’s the way this game is,” said Anderson. “You never know when your chance is going to come to get in there. The team counts on whoever is in net.
“I knew they could count on me going in there and I had to make sure I held up the fort.”
Anderson said the work helps in his recovery, but it’s all about the way the Senators play in front of him.
“A lot of it comes down to how the team is playing,” said Anderson. “Statistics are a direct result of how the team is playing. If the team is playing well, we’re scoring a lot of goals, we get out to a lead, stats sway in your direction.
“You get down a couple of goals, the game changes and before you know it, your stats aren’t looking that great.”
The good news is Anderson’s finger came through the weekend fine and is almost fully recovered.
“The strength is almost there,” he said. “It’s not where it was before the injury but I knew that going in. I was able to do everything I could do before the injury, minus shooting the puck 50 mph, maybe I can only shoot it 35 mph.
“There was some battles around the net where I had to really battle with it. It’s only going to get better. Who is to say by next weekend it’s not 100%? It might be.”
NICE TO PLAY
This hasn’t been an easy time for Matt Carkner.
The Senators blueliner, who hadn’t suited up since Feb. 25, wore a wide smile Saturday.
Not only did he get return to the lineup in place of Matt Gilroy, Carkner was part of a winning formula.
“I was telling the guys: I was part of that seven-game losing streak (last month). I got back in for Boston after Andy cut his hand and we lost that one as well. It just seemed like things were going against me,” said Carkner.
Carkner had never sat out 12 straight games in his career.
“It’s tough. It’s kind of more at the start (of the season) when I felt I was playing well and I got sat, then there was a trade. It’s kind of out of my hands,” said Carkner.
“I’m just going to focus on what I can do: Working on the ice during practice. The guys have been great in here. They pump my tires when I need it. It’s a tough battle.
“When they put me in, if I’m lucky enough to play, I’m going to do my job. It’s not easy. It’s a different role for me, but I’m handling it all right.”
THIS ’N’ THAT
Expect to see C Jesse Winchester return from his concussion either next Saturday in Philly or Sunday on Long Island. He’s been out since getting hit by Paul Gaustad on Dec. 20 vs. Buffalo ... There was video on NHL.com posted of players on both benches chuckling during the national anthem Saturday. The singing by Measha Brueggergosman, a Juno nominee, was fine, it was the amount of time she took. “It was definitely the first anthem I’ve heard sung like that,” said winger Nick Foligno. “I thought she did a good job, it was just how long it took.”