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Senators to start Anderson in goal against Flyers

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- Craig Anderson will start in goal for the Ottawa Senators against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday even though Robin Lehner was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday.

Lehner led Ottawa to three straight wins while Anderson was sidelined because of a sore neck, posting a 1.33 goals-against average and .958 save percentage over the course of the streak.

"It's a nice honor, but I think it reflects on the whole team's defensive play too," Lehner said. "I think I got a lot more help the last three, four games. I think we're starting to play a lot better."

The 22-year-old Swede had no problem accepting coach Paul MacLean's decision to start Anderson against Philadelphia.

"Paul knows a lot more than I do," Lehner said. "Hopefully one day I can be the starter here. I don't know if it's next year or three years from now, but [Anderson] is great. He's a quality number-one goalie in this League. He's led his team to two playoff runs. All I did is win three games and people are talking about me playing again. He's the starter and that's the way it is."

Anderson was injured in a goalmouth collision with Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin on Nov. 3. He was sidelined for wins against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens, and dressed as Lehner's backup for Ottawa's 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

"There have been numerous occasions in my career where I've been the starter and I've won three or four games and it's that time to rest," Anderson said. "It's that time to sit down and let the other guy play, and it's not a decision that I make. It's a decision that the coaches make.

"I'm told to play, I play. I'm told to sit, I sit and that's kind of the way my whole career has been. At the end of the day the team has to win hockey games. I'm confident in my game, the players are confident in my game and the coaching staff is obviously confident in my game, that I can go out there and do the job."

Chris Phillips was not on hand for the Senators' morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre. Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said the veteran defenseman is dealing with an injury and will be a game-time decision.

"I think it's just been the wear and tear of playing," said MacLean, who will put Joe Corvo in the lineup if Phillips is unable to play.

Steve Downie is expected to be back in the Flyers' lineup after missing four games because of a concussion. He likely will line up with Sean Couturier and Matt Read against the Senators in place of rookie Michael Raffl, who has the flu and did not take part in Philadelphia's morning skate.

Downie was injured in a fight with Aaron Volpatti of the Washington Capitals on Nov. 1 in his first game with Philadelphia after he was acquired in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche.

"He's close," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "He looks pretty good to me."

Downie is wearing a cage on his helmet to protect his left eye, which remains badly bruised. He said he hasn't worn a full cage since his minor hockey days, "probably 10 or 15 years."

"It's a little different but I'll get used to it," Downie said. "I'm pretty used to it right now. I've worn it for a week now so I'm not too worried about it."

Here are the probable lineups for the Flyers and Senators:


Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Steve Downie

Zac Rinaldo - Adam Hall - Jay Rosehill

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit

Erik Gustafsson - Luke Schenn

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Hal Gill, Andrej Meszaros

Injured: Michael Raffl (illness)


Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Cory Conacher

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Matt Kassian - Derek Grant - Mika Zibanejad

Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson

Mark Borowiecki - Marc Methot

Chris Phillips - Patrick Wiercioch

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Joe Corvo, Eric Gryba

Injured: Erik Condra (right leg muscle strain)

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