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Preview: Senators at Oilers

Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, whose wife recently diagnosed with cancer, starts vs. Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent




Senators team scope

Goaltender Craig Anderson will start for the Ottawa Senators. Anderson had been on a leave of absence since Thursday to be with his wife, Nicholle, who was diagnosed with cancer. "It's terrific to have him back as a person, first of all," coach Guy Boucher said. "As a goaltender, he's a terrific No. 1 goalie. He's got a 4-1-0 record this year in the five games that he's played, so obviously he's a gigantic part of our team." Anderson played in a 3-0 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, in the first of a three-game Western Canada road trip, before departing to Florida to be with his family. Anderson returned to the Senators on Saturday after goaltender Andrew Hammond sustained a lower-body injury in a 5-2 loss at the Calgary Flames on Friday. "I think anytime you're forced into a situation like him and his family are, you need to lean on people and he's got 20 to 25 good support units here, and we're here for him and will rally around him and Nicholle at this time," forward Bobby Ryan said. "From what I understand, she wants him to stay in his routine and to go about things as normal, and we certainly appreciate that. It's nice to have him back there, and it's very courageous on her part, and I'm sure it was tough to leave for him, so it's courageous for him as well."


Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers are on a five-game winning streak and are looking to match their best start since the 1985-86 season when they started 8-1-0. The Oilers have allowed four goals in their past five games, and goaltender Cam Talbot has two shutouts. "It helps when you have a goaltender as hot as Cam is right now," captain Connor McDavid said. "He's been playing unbelievable for us. We're just trying to do our best to limit chances, but they're still getting their fair share, but he's been great back there." Talbot has started each game for the Oilers this season. He was pulled in a 6-2 loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 16 but has been excellent for Edmonton since. "Cam has played great when teams have had opportunities, but at the same time, we've stuck to our details [defensively]," Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. "We're trying to be in the right spots and not try to force things. It's something that we have to continue to do to keep our goals against down."


Senators projected lineup

Zack Smith -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Mark Stone

Ryan Dzingel -- Derick Brassard -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Kyle Turris -- Tom Pyatt

Matt Puempel -- Chris Kelly -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot --Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Matt O'Connor, Thomas Chabot

Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Andrew Hammond (lower body)


Oilers projected lineup

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Zack Kassian

Patrick Maroon -- Leon Draisaitl -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Tyler Pitlick -- Mark Letestu -- Anton Lander

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Anton Slepyshev, Matthew Benning

Injured: Drake Caggiula (hip), Matt Hendricks (lower body), Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Brandon Davidson (upper body), Mark Fayne (lower body)


Status report

O'Connor was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Saturday, but with the return of Anderson, he will be a healthy scratch.


Who's hot

McDavid is on a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists). … Lucic has two goals and an assist in his past two games. … Talbot has two shutouts in his past three games and has given up two goals in his past four games. … Dzingel has two goals and an assist in his past two games.

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