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Senators' Cameron unsure of goaltender for Game 3

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators coach Dave Cameron said Saturday he hasn't decided who will start in goal for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre (7 p.m. ET; CBC, NBCSN, TVA Sports).

The Senators trail the Canadiens 2-0 in the best-of-7 series.

Andrew Hammond, the hero of the Senators history-making run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs allowed seven goals on 81 shots (.914 save percentage) in starting the first two games.

Hammond took the starter's job in February when veteran Craig Anderson and backup Robin Lehner sustained injuries.

Anderson, who starred in the Senators' win against the Canadiens in the 2013 playoffs, is Cameron's other option for Game 3.

But Anderson has played four games since Jan. 21 because of a hand injury and Hammond's stellar play, and that is something Cameron said he would consider in deciding who to start.

"If I put Anderson in I'll have no concern," Cameron said. "That's why he'll go in. Do I take that [his lack of playing time] as a factor? Of course I do. I do with all the players.

"What gives me the best chance to win goes into every decision I make. Simple as that."

Cameron said Hammond's play has been similar to the play of the team.

"He's been the way my team has played," Cameron said. "Good in spurts. We've got to be better. That goes right through my lineup from my goalie to every player on that team. We have to be better. That's what the playoffs are about.

"I expect my goalie to stop every shot. It's as simple as that. Now is he going to? Of course not. He's not going to; I understand that too. But I expect it, as I'm sure the goalie does. He expects to stop every shot, but stuff happens, right?"

Hammond said pretty much the same thing when asked to evaluate his play.

"Good at times," he said. "Ultimately it basically rests on the goals you do allow. I'm not real happy with some of them that have gone in. You just need to keep giving your team a chance to win. I think I'm a lot like the team. We haven't played a full 60 minutes, and if you look at my game a little closer maybe you could say the same about myself because there has been a little bit of, I guess, brain farts there and pucks have found their way in that maybe I should have."

An example was Alex Galchenyuk's overtime goal in Game 2. Hammond stopped a shot by Brendan Gallagher off a turnover, but left a big rebound that went to Galchenyuk on the other side of the net.

Hammond got over to the right post, but Galchenyuk's shot squeezed between Hammond's right arm and his body.

Senators forward Kyle Turris said the team needs to be better for Hammond.

"I think he's been fine," Turris said. "Over this 2 1/2-month stretch he's been unbelievable. He's been the guy who's given us the opportunity to be in this position. We've got to do better in front of him and help him out."

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