Senators host Flyers without Anderson
OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators will be without No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson when they entertain the Philadelphia Flyers at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night.
Anderson took another indefinite leave to be with his wife Nicolle, who is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for throat cancer.
Mike Condon will start in his place with Andrew Hammond serving as the backup.
“Right now, it's one game,” said Senators coach Guy Boucher, whose team hosts the Florida Panthers on Saturday. “Is it two? We're not sure. He won't be here Friday, but we'll see come Saturday.”
Anderson, who was the NHL's first star last week when he allowed five goals in four games, gave up that many in a 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday that ended Ottawa's four game winning streak.
It was a rare blemish on what has otherwise been a stellar start to the season for the 35-year old.
“It has been a pleasure watching him this year,” said Condon, who is making only his fourth appearance for the Senators — the first since giving up five in a loss to the Predators on Nov. 17. “I've put in the work since Nashville. I'm always ready to go.”
The Flyers have won two in a row, including a nine-round 3-2 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
Goalie Steve Mason stopped eight of nine shootout attempts and made 45 saves to get the Flyers that far.
“The type of performance Mase had is something that injects a lot of confidence into the group,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said after the game. “But you have to look at this realistically and say we've to to be a lot better. We simply didn't have enough energy through this entire hockey game. Mase battled real hard for us tonight and he's the reason we got the two points.”
The Senators defeated the Flyers 3-2 in a 10-round shootout Nov. 15 on a goal by defenseman Erik Karlsson. The key to that victory was Ottawa's ability to kill all four shorthanded situations against a Flyers team that ranks second in power plays.
However, the Senators gave up three power play goals on five chances to Buffalo.
The Senators will be missing winger Bobby Ryan, who aggravated a hand injury Tuesday. Defenseman Marc Methot is listed as questionable.
On a positive note, winger Mike Hoffman scored his first career hat trick against the Sabres. The team's leading scorer in each of the previous two seasons now has seven goals after a slow start.
The Flyers have elevated center Braden Schenn to the second line. He'll work between wingers Travis Konecny and Wayne Simmonds.
Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning remains day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms.
The Flyers were 7-5-2 in November while the Senators posted a 9-5-1 record for the month.