Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond will make his first start of the season Thursday at home against the New Jersey Devils, Senators assistant coach Andre Tourigny said Wednesday.
Hammond had been recovering from a groin injury sustained before a preseason game against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 1.
Last season, Hammond, 27, helped the Senators reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 20-1-2 record, 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in 24 games. He allowed two or fewer goals in each of his first 12 NHL starts, matching a record set by Boston Bruins goaltender Frank Brimsek in 1938-39.
He went 14-0-1 to begin his NHL career, the second goaltender in League history to earn at least one point in each of his first 15 starts, joining Patrick Lalime, who went 14-0-2 in 1996-97 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hammond completed the regular season without a regulation road loss (10-0-2), becoming the first goaltender in the NHL modern era to do so in his first 12 starts.
In Hammond's absence this season, rookie Matthew O'Connor backed up Craig Anderson. O'Connor lost his only game, allowing three goals on 34 shots in a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens on Oct. 11. Anderson is 3-1-1 with a 2.53 GAA and .924 save percentage in five games.
The Senators' game against the Devils is the second of a four-game homestand.
"I feel healthy and my game is going in the right direction," Hammond told the Ottawa Sun on Sunday. "All in all I'm very happy with where my game is at right now."