Craig Anderson will get his first start of these playoffs when the Ottawa Senators play host to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 tonight.
Anderson has made four starts in the last three months. He last played in the Sens’ 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on March 29.
The 33-year-old was 14-13-8 in 35 games this season to go along with a 2.49 G.A.A. and a .923 save percentage.
Anderson led the Sens to a 4-1 series win in the first round of the 2013 playoffs posting a 1.80 goals-against average.
Andrew Hammond started the first two games of the series posting a 3.44 G.A.A. and a .914 save percentage in the two losses.
Anderson isn’t the only lineup change for the Sens tonight.
Chris Neil is expected to return to Ottawa’s fourth line.
During line rushes Sunday morning Neil was skating in place of Alex Chiasson alongside David Legwand and Mike Hoffman.
The 35-year-old had seven points and 78 penalty minutes in 38 regular season games.
Neil last played in the Sens 7-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 14.
Puck drop tonight is at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Prized Ottawa rookie Mark Stone — who suffered a microfracture in his right wrist courtesy a P.K. Subban slash in Game 1 — will be a game-time decision for tonight’s tilt in Montreal, per head coach Dave Cameron.
The 22-year-old took a brief twirl during this morning’s skate before exiting. If Stone doesn’t play, it’s possible that veteran tough guy Chris Neil will draw into the lineup as the extra forward — but even if Stone does play, Neil could still get on the lineup card as well, with another forward getting dropped.
Talk of Neil playing — and this morning’s Ottawa Sun front page — led to the inevitable discussion of Ottawa exacting revenge for Subban’s slash.
The bench boss’ take?
Referees will undoubtedly be on high alert this evening. In that light, it’s unsurprising the NHL assigned a pair of veteran officials in Gord Dwyer and Eric Furlatt. Both have worked over 550 career games.
Related: PHT Extra: Sens need to control their emotions after Subban slash
While we can confirm there are seven other playoff series at hand, we also acknowledge it might not seem that way on PHT right now given all the wild developments between Ottawa and Montreal following P.K. Subban’s Game 1 ejection for slashing Mark Stone.
The latest, from Sens GM Bryan Murray:
Stone, who suffered a microfracture in his right wrist on the slash, is “very questionable” for the remainder of the series, per Murray. The Ottawa GM also said he told NHL discipline czar Stephane Quintal about Stone’s injury prior to the league deciding not to further punish Subban.
Game 2 goes Friday night at the Bell Center in what promises to be an emotional affair. Should Stone be unable to play, it looks as though veteran tough guy Chris Neil will draw into the Ottawa lineup — a decision that could turn this series into an even bigger powderkeg.
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