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Craig Anderson to start for Senators on Saturday

Ottawa goalie will play for first time in more than two months

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson will return to the lineup on Saturday, making his first start in more than two months.

Coach Guy Boucher made the announcement Saturday morning. The Senators host the New York Islanders at Canadian Tire Centre (1 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, MSG+, NHL.TV).

"He had done enough in practice to feel like he had enough game situations," Boucher said. "We practised power play (Friday) which is one thing we hadn't done yet with him. After the practice, he told the goalie coach he was feeling good and we'd talk again after he got undressed. We got together and it was clear, 'yup, I'm ready, let's go.'"

Anderson's last start was Dec. 5, an 8-5 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He gave up seven goals on 43 shots playing 52:36. Anderson took personal leave after that game to help his wife, Nicholle, deal with treatments for throat cancer.

Video: OTT@PIT: Anderson turns away Crosby from tight angle

Anderson ended his personal leave Jan. 30. The Senators have had two full practices in the past week, but Anderson missed practice Monday to help his family settle back into their Ottawa home. Anderson had his own net at practice Friday; Mike Condon and Andrew Hammond shared the other.

"This is like a cold water pool," Boucher said. "You look at it and you want to get in and it's cold and the longer you wait, it's still going to be cold when you get in so I think it's jump in and swim and you'll remind yourself that you know how to swim pretty good. I think that's where it is for Craig. Expectations are not that he's coming in to save us and get us a shutout. Expectations right now are be yourself. It's great to have him back. It's exciting and what's going to happen is going to happen. Hopefully things work out for him right off the bat."

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