Craig Anderson

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The Buzzer: Anderson steals one for Sens; Seabrook scores in return

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Player Of The Night: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators: 

What a difference 24 hours makes.

On Tuesday night the Ottawa Senators were getting blown out by the Chicago Blackhawks in a game that saw Craig Anderson give up four goals on 26 shots in less than 30 minutes of action.

He still gave up three goals on Wednesday night and the Senators could have very easily been blown out again, but thanks to Anderson’s 45 saves they were able to leave Toronto with a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs. The Senators were not particularly good on Wednesday, but Anderson was a game-changer and was able to keep his team in the game long enough to wait for Toronto to make a couple of crucial defensive mistakes that helped Ottawa pull off the win.

It is the second time in his past three starts that Anderson has had to make at least 45 saves in a Senators win (more on that in a minute), also doing it on Saturday in a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Player Of The Night, Part Two: Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild

While Anderson was stealing a game in Toronto for the Senators, Devan Dubnyk was having a similar night for the Minnesota Wild in Chicago. He only had to stop 34 out of 35 shots to help lead his team to a much-needed 2-1 win over the Blackhawks, but he played an equally big role in the result. Especially during the first period when the Blackhawk were skating circles around the Wild and Dubnyk did everything he could to keep his team in the game.

Welcome Back, Brent

You just had to know that when Brent Seabrook drew back into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup on Wednesday night after being a healthy scratch the night before that he was going to play some sort of a role in the game or make some kind of an impact. He did not waste much time. He scored the game’s opening goal 12:24 into the first period to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

The play had to withstand a coach’s challenge from Minnesota for a potential offside play, but there was not enough evidence to overturn. For Seabrook it was his second goal of the season and his first since the team’s 10-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the season opener all the way back on October 5. He had three points (one goal, two assists) that night. Before Wednesday’s game he had zero goals and eight assists in the 40 games that followed.

Highlight Of The Night

It came in a loss, and it did not result in a goal, but take a look at the stickhandling of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews.

Factoid Of The Night

You could say that Craig Anderson likes to keep busy during games.

Scores

Ottawa Senators 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3

Minnesota Wild 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Senators blank Canadiens in NHL 100 Classic

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One win, even in the frosty outdoors for the NHL 100 Classic, only means so much.

Still, the Ottawa Senators probably experienced some ice-cold relief on Saturday, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 during a tightly defended outdoor bout.

It was 0-0 for much of the game until Jean-Gabriel Pageau tipped an Erik Karlsson shot for the first goal with about five minutes remaining in the second period. Bobby Ryan then capitalized on a rough Jonathan Drouin turnover to make it 2-0, while an empty-netter iced the icy evening for Ottawa.

For a night, it was a fun time, and Karlsson reminded us what all the fuss is about, as he logged a ridiculous 32:55 of ice time. And he seemed to be having a good time doing it.

This night laid the “Canadian” on thick, with Bryan Adams performing during the event, and Gary Bettman posing for photos with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

via Getty

Weird, but OK then.

Generally speaking, things haven’t been that OK for the Senators lately. Such headaches did surface during this frosty-mug-on-ice event, as owner Eugene Melnyk inspired a #Melnykout hashtag on Twitter, not to mention icy barbs like these.

Fair criticisms about the Sens’ bigger picture aside, Ottawa looked nice tonight, with Karlsson shining and Craig Anderson pitching a rare shutout outdoors (shutoutdoors)?

Carey Price generated some nice saves of his own, but couldn’t will Montreal to win in his 10th consecutive start. The Habs rarely got things going against the Senators, seen most easily in Ottawa’s 38-28 advantage in shots on goal.

Nights like these make a bigger impact on fans’ memories and bottom lines, but this marks consecutive wins for the Senators either way. Considering the fact that the Senators hadn’t put back-to-back wins together since they faced the Avalanche in two contests in Sweden, it might not be a big deal, yet it’s far better than the nothing they’ve been coming up with far too often lately.

Also

In other news from the event, Mario Lemieux’s “five goals, five different ways” was named as the NHL’s greatest moment, voted by fans:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH NHL 100 CLASSIC LIVE: Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

PROJECTED LINES

Montreal Canadiens

Forwards

Pacioretty – Danault – Byron

Galchenyuk – Drouin – Shaw

Hudon – Plekanec – Gallagher

Deslauriers – Froese/de la Rose – Carr

Defense

Alzner – Petry

Benn – Weber

Schlemko – Jerabek/Morrow

Starting Goalie: Carey Price

[NHL On NBCSN: Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators Meet In NHL 100 Classic]

Ottawa Senators

Forwards

Ryan – Duchene – Stone

Dzingel – Brassard – Hoffman

Smith – Pageau – Pyatt

Burrows – Thompson – Dumont

Defense

Oduya – Karlsson

Phaneuf – Ceci

Claesson – Chabot

Starting goalie: Craig Anderson

 

 

Another miserable night for Senators early in Duchene era

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Things looked ugly for the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, even beyond the 5-0 margin of defeat at the hands of the increasingly legit Winnipeg Jets.

Earlier this season, an opening 5-1-5 record looked odd; now it looks closer to glorious. The Senators have now lost eight of their last nine games, and tonight’s drubbing probably could have been uglier, as the Jets didn’t need to do much after making it 5-0 in the second period.

The shot count was about as lopsided as the score (49-21), as Winnipeg made Ottawa pay dearly for mistakes, going 3-for-5 on the power play. You know things are bad when:

1. Patrik Laine doesn’t feel the need to celebrate a goal all that much.

2. You get the classic “fan throws jersey onto the ice in disgust” treatment, as PHT’s Scott Billeck notes:

3. People start calling for your coach’s head, which seems especially weird since Guy Boucher’s mostly received ample credit for making lemonade out of lemons with this hit-or-miss Senators roster.

 

And, to think, Boucher joined Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson on the list of reasons that the Senators were a goal away from the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. At least it’s a change of pace from coaches getting run out of town soon after their name was chiseled onto the Jack Adams Award, I guess.

One can imagine a wide variety of people taking on the blame during these tough times. Fair or not, Duchene will absorb some of the heat, as the Senators have won more games in Sweden (two) with him so far than they have in North America (one). Others will eye Boucher or GM Pierre Dorion, and so on.

Either way, it’s some ugly stuff …

… And it’s going to take some serious effort to stop the bleeding. Take a peek at what lies ahead for the struggling Senators:

Wed, Dec 6 @ Anaheim
Thu, Dec 7 @ Los Angeles
Sat, Dec 9 @ San Jose
Tue, Dec 12 @ Buffalo
Wed, Dec 13 vs NY Rangers
Sat, Dec 16 vs Montreal
Tue, Dec 19 vs Minnesota
Thu, Dec 21 @ Tampa Bay
Sat, Dec 23 @ Florida
Wed, Dec 27 @ Boston

Not ideal.

Even in the case of those home games, fan unrest could really escalate. One can wager that a weak performance against the (currently red-hot) Canadiens would raise the discontent to uncomfortable volumes.

Then again, the Senators’ best moments have often come when they’ve enjoyed unlikely successes. They’ve maintained playoff runs with Erik Karlsson on the shelf. Again, few expected them to do damage in the last postseason, let alone put the Pittsburgh Penguins’ repeat run at such a great risk of ending.

Of course, it’s often easy to remember the moments of triumph while the blander, on-script falls to the odds slip from your memories.

Duchene, Boucher, Karlsson, and the rest of the Senators have some work to do to keep their 2017-18 campaign from slipping to irrelevance.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Nicholle Anderson joins NHL’s ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ efforts

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When Nicholle Anderson was diagnosed with cancer, her teaching background kicked in.

”I just wanted to educate people,” she said. ”That’s the teacher in me, so I was never shy to open up about it.”

The wife of Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson began blogging about it not long after being diagnosed last fall with late-stage nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Nicholle is now cancer-free and after serving as an inspiration to Craig and the Senators last season, she wants to share her experience with others as the NHL and NHL Players’ Association’s latest ”Hockey Fights Cancer” ambassador.

”What it’s done to my life in the last year, if I can take this opportunity and educate everybody about it, I’m going to do it,” Nicholle said by phone Tuesday. ”It’s going to be a little emotional for me, too. I understand that. But the next few weeks I feel like I’m doing good.”

As her husband noted when winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy last summer for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, Nicholle doesn’t crave the limelight. But after starting cancer treatments and meeting patients afraid to talk about it, she immediately wanted to speak out on the subject.

Nicholle wants people to know that she contracted nasopharyngeal carcinoma from the virus that causes mono, that only seven in a million people get it and that people who feel something is off in their bodies should get it checked out.

She also wants people to know that even though she beat cancer over a span of seven months and several radiation and chemotherapy treatments, it’s ”brutal” behind closed doors and has an impact on a lot of people.

”I got it, maybe a friend of mine will have it, a family member will have it,” Nicholle said. ”Cancer’s reality. I feel like we all need to be proactive here and raise money not just for research but to help everybody because in the long run, everybody’s getting cancer, so it affects everybody.”

The Senators let Craig take time away from the team to be with his family after Nicholle’s diagnosis. The couple have two sons, Jake and Levi. When Craig was on the ice, he went 25-11-4 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage to help Ottawa make the playoffs.

”Nicholle’s strength, she was the one that wanted me to go back and play so much, and we had so much support,” Craig said when accepting the Masterton in June. ”Everyone was there for us.”

Long before Nicholle’s diagnosis, the Andersons dedicated time and energy to helping others. Nicholle was heavily involved in Senators’ charity efforts, and Craig opened their home to teammates to have dinner and watch football on Sundays.

”Just two tremendous people, really giving, caring – great human beings,” said former Senators forward Alex Chiasson, who spent Thanksgiving 2015 at the Anderson home in Florida. ”They’re great people and obviously the battle that Nicholle had to go through and they had to at the same time as a family, I can’t imagine how hard that would’ve been. I think everything’s going better now. She’s gotten some good treatment. Really glad for that family to hear some positive news.”

Nicholle was given a clean bill of health following a CT scan in May. Another test in August showed she was still OK.

”That’s the only thing you’ve been hoping for,” Chiasson said. ”I think all that is much bigger than the game of hockey.”

Nicholle said ”hockey’s not about me,” and she’d prefer to fly under the radar. But after the way people in hockey rallied around her, she’s eager to give back.

”When the cancer card presents itself, everybody knows the fear of it and everybody came together,” Nicholle said. ”If I can get the message out there in this next month to even encourage people to make sure they’re following up on their own doctor visits and cluing in on their body and saying, ‘OK this isn’t normal, I’ve never had this, I need to get checked,’ then I’m doing the right thing.”