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Senators unsure which goalie will play Saturday

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond is injured, and coach Dave Cameron said he doesn't know who will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports 2).

Hammond, the 27-year-old "Hamburglar" who captured the imagination of the hockey world with a record-equaling start to his NHL career, limped out of Canadian Tire Centre on Friday.

He lost for the first time in regulation as a starter (14-1-1) Thursday and was pulled in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers, giving up five goals on 22 shots.

Hammond was injured Monday when San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture slid into him and Hammond's right leg got tangled up with the post.

With both Andrew Hammond and Craig Anderson banged up, Ottawa Senators coach Dave Cameron does not know who will start on Saturday, he said. (Photo: Lance Thomson/NHLI)

He didn't look comfortable Thursday against the Rangers before being pulled. He was wincing when he took a seat at the end of the bench.

Craig Anderson, one of the injured goaltenders Hammond replaced, took part in an optional practice Friday and said his injured right hand is not 100 percent.

Chris Driedger, called up from the ECHL to back up Hammond after injuries to Anderson and Robin Lehner (not close to returning from a concussion), played in relief of Hammond on Thursday.

Driedger, 20, stopped the 10 shots he faced in the 23 minutes he played. That's the extent of his NHL experience.

Addressing the media Friday, Cameron said he's unsure who will start against the Maple Leafs as the Senators battle for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"No, I truly don't," Cameron said. "Both are banged up a little bit. I'll see what tomorrow brings."

The Senators and the Boston Bruins each have 85 points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Senators have played one fewer game than the Bruins.

Hammond, signed as a free agent after playing at Bowling Green State University, equaled the record set by Boston Bruins goaltender Frank Brimsek in 1938-39 by allowing two goals or fewer in each of his first 12 games as an NHL starter.

The Senators trailed the Bruins by 14 points in the standings on Feb. 10, and Hammond's outstanding play was a big reason the Senators won 17 of their past 22 games (17-3-2).

Hammond's game has slipped in his past four games. He has allowed 14 goals on 113 shots (.876 save percentage).

Anderson injured his hand Jan. 21. He missed 17 games, returned for a win against the Calgary Flames and a loss to the Bruins and hasn't played in the eight games since.

He said he has difficulty holding his stick. He took shots on his blocker hand at practice Friday.

"I feel really good," he said. "I've made strong progress, but at this point right now we're not sure about the weekend. Things are going in the right direction. We've seen a lot of good progress on the ice. It's been excellent and we're really close."

Cameron said Driedger could make his first NHL start if neither Hammond nor Anderson is ready to play.

"It's the wear and tear of the game. There's nothing you can do. You can't control it," Cameron said. "I'll gather the information tomorrow after the pregame skate and I'll make my decision (on who will start) then."

The Florida Panthers, who trail the Senators and the Bruins by three points, play the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN5, FS-F).

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