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Senators' Craig Anderson available more than expected

Ottawa to manage workload as if starting goalie will be available full-time

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Starting goaltender Craig Anderson will be available to play more often than first thought when it was announced his wife, Nicholle, was diagnosed with cancer Oct. 29, Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher said Thursday.

Backup goaltender Mike Condon will start Thursday against the Nashville Predators (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, FS-TN, NHL.TV), but Boucher said he is managing Anderson's playing time as though he will be with them full-time.

"[Anderson] is and will be here more often than we thought," Boucher said. "Now we're at the point we need to manage the number of games he has to play as if he's going to be here the whole time.

"That won't be the case, but it's a lot more than we thought it would be. Therefore we look at this week, four games, we feel we've got to manage it as if it was a normal situation."

Boucher said he couldn't say how many games Anderson might miss, or when, "but at any moment we have to be open for him to leave for a few days. Right now, we know that he's here and he's going to be here more often than we thought."

Anderson is 8-3-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.

When backup Andrew Hammond was injured against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 28, the Senators acquired Condon, 26, from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade for a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Video: OTT@PHI: Anderson uses arm to deny redirect in close

Condon is 2-0-0 with an 0.41 goals against average and .985 save percentage in his two starts with the Senators.

Boucher's original plan was to play Anderson whenever he was with the team.

"Contrary to what I said a while ago, I'll be honest with you, I didn't think [Anderson] was going to be here that often back then," Boucher said. "We were preparing for the worst, basically, because we wanted to stay open and make sure we were ready for anything that happened and anything that he needed and his family needed.

"Now we're quite happy that he's able to be here more often than we thought."

Hammond is healthy and Boucher said the Senators will go with three goalies for now.

"All I know is it's a good luxury to have," Boucher said. "It's a better one than looking for a good goalie. Looking ahead, every day we'll have to have a plan now to see where we're going with that. Today, it's not difficult to manage. As we move on, it's a luxury we'll have to manage a certain way."

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