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At the Rink: Flyers at Senators

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA – Goaltender Craig Anderson will start his eighth straight game for the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Canadian Tire Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2).

The Senators, who are 4-1-2 in their past seven games, are leaning on Anderson with backup Andrew Hammond still out after being struck in the mask with a couple of shots against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 12.

Chris Driedger, who was called up from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to back up Anderson after Hammond was injured, has 23 minutes of NHL experience.

A heavy workload isn’t new to Anderson, who played 71 games for the Colorado Avalanche in the 2009-10 season.

How did he handle that?

“Honestly? I probably didn’t even think about it,” Anderson said. “There was the occasional day off where you’re not morning skating, you’re not skating in between games. It’s more or less a mental grind than anything else. You just find a way to get the job done.”

Anderson has faced 231 shots in the past seven games (33 shots per game) and given up 16 goals.

The Senators gave up a season-low 19 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

“It seems like we get more wins when we give up more shots. Maybe we’ll just let him get peppered,” Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki said. “It’s a big workload for him. It’s impressive.”

The Flyers are coming off a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Mason, who had 24 saves against the Rangers, will start against the Senators.

Flyers defenseman Nick Schultz was injured on a big hit by Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath on Saturday and will not play. Brandon Manning replaces Schultz in the lineup.

“We obviously don’t want to be in the situation we are right now, but we’ve got to look at the positives,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. “The last two games we’ve been playing better hockey. I think our last game against New York was our best game of the season. We were consistent the whole 60 minutes and that’s the kind of team we want to be.

“It’s hard not to look at the standings, but I think we made an effort to make sure that we look at the small picture. The small picture right now is 10 games left before Christmas and make sure we put ourselves in a good situation to make a playoff push. We really believe that as a team we can do that and it starts with two points tonight.”

Here are the projected lineups:


Michael RafflClaude GirouxBrayden Schenn

Matt ReadSean CouturierWayne Simmonds

Chris VandeVeldePierre-Edouard BellemareJakub Voracek

Scott LaughtonNick CousinsColin McDonald

Michael Del ZottoRadko Gudas

Evgeny MedvedevLuke Schenn

Brandon ManningShayne Gostisbehere

Steve Mason

Michal Neuvirth

Injured: R.J. Umberger (lower body), Mark Streit (groin), Ryan White (upper body), Sam Gagner (upper body), Nick Schultz (upper body)

Scratched: Vincent Lecavalier


Mike HoffmanKyle TurrisBobby Ryan

Curtis LazarMika ZibanejadMark Stone

Milan MichalekJean-Gabriel PageauAlex Chiasson

Shane PrinceZack SmithChris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Cody Ceci

Mark BorowieckiChris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Colin Greening, Patrick Wiercioch

Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Andrew Hammond (undisclosed)

Status report: Wiercioch has recovered from his upper-body injury.

Who's hot: Karlsson has five goals and nine assists in his past nine games … Hoffman has five goals and two assists in his past four games … Del Zotto has a goal and an assist in his past two games.

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