Rangers chase Sens’ Hammond, who may be hurt

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Expect a new set of hamburger jokes tonight (some of the cringe-inducing variety*), as Ottawa Senators phenom Andrew Hammond’s storybook season hit a bump in the road named the New York Rangers.

At the moment, the Rangers are up 5-1, and that was enough for “The Hamburglar” to get pulled from the Senators’ net. (At least he’s not alone tonight.)

Hammond allowed five goals on 22 shots before getting taken out late in the second period. Perhaps seeing Tanner Glass score against Hammond was the last straw?

Chris Driedger took over for Hammond. The 20-year-old is seeing his first night of NHL action in relief.

Unfortunately, his last name is nowhere near as friendly to nicknaming. Maybe a Darren Dreger reference or two?

Update: The Rangers ended up winning 5-1, while this disturbing image hangs over Ottawa’s season:

Uh oh.

* – Raises hand.

Here’s Ottawa’s ‘Don’t Throw Hamburgers’ PSA

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Yesterday, we passed along word that the Senators had asked fans to refrain from throwing objects — hamburgers, specifically — onto the playing surface during games.

Today, the club unveiled its latest initiative in the anti-burger-toss movement: Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot (en francais) starring in the “Take Your Burgers To Go!” public service announcement.

As the video shows, Karlsson and Methot also referenced that Curtis Lazar ate a floor burger.

Goalie nods: Hackett goes for Sabres in McEichel Derby

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All the latest from the blue paint…

No Lindback for Buffalo

The NHL’s two worst teams — standings-wise, anyway — will do battle tonight when the Sabres host the Coyotes in Buffalo, and Buffalo will start little-used Matthew Hackett in net ahead of Anders Lindback, who’s been quite solid of late.

Hackett, 25, is 0-3-0 this year with a .893 save percentage and 4.34 GAA. He’s spent the majority of the season AHL Rochester, but was summoned to the Sabres after Chad Johnson went down to injury almost immediately after being acquired via trade.

In hist last outing, a 3-0 loss to Nashville, Hackett allowed three goals on 43 shots, good for a .930 save percentage.

For the Coyotes, Mike Smith will get the start in goal. Smith’s turnaround after a dreadful start has been one of the few bright spots in Arizona this season, and is worth mentioning — the veteran has been very good in nine games this month, allowing just 21 goals on 326 shots for a .936 save percentage.

Elsewhere…

Anaheim at Boston: Frederik Andersen vs. Tuukka Rask (probable)

Kings at Isles: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Jaroslav Halak

Devils at Caps: Cory Schneider vs. Braden Holtby

Pens at ‘Canes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Cam Ward

Preds at Bolts: Pekka Rinne (probable) vs. Ben Bishop

Sharks at Wings: Antti Niemi vs. Jimmy Howard

Rangers at Sens: Cam Talbot vs. Andrew Hammond

Panthers at Leafs: Roberto Luongo vs. Jonathan Bernier

Habs at Jets: Dustin Tokarski vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Avs at Canucks: Semyon Varlamov vs. (No Vancouver starter yet.)

Sens tell fans to stop throwing hamburgers

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Despite the notoriety Hamburglar-inspired burger tossing has received — see: Lazar, Curtis and Roenick, Jeremy — the Ottawa Senators are ready to shut it down.

“We will continue to abide by both our own and the NHL’s policy to work in the best interests of the safety of our fans and the players — which does not permit items being thrown on the ice during play,” Sens director of communications Brian Morris told the Ottawa Citizen. “There will be zero tolerance for any items thrown onto the ice during play.”

As you’ve probably heard and/or seen by now, Sens fans have taken to chucking quite a large number of McDonald’s hamburgers during Andrew “the Hamburglar” Hammond’s improbable hot streak, during which he’s gone 14-0-1 with a 1.67 GAA and .946 save percentage.

That run of tremendous play has vaulted Ottawa into the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference, which in turn has fired up fans. The Sens missed the playoffs last year and, in mid-February, looked as though they would miss again; Ottawa was nine points back of Boston on Feb. 14, which is around the time Hammond took over the crease and went on his remarkable streak.

The Sens have five home games remaining this season and while they’re probably keen to keep the raucous fan support going, they’re also keen on keeping the playing surface free of ketchup and pickles.

“We are treating this seriously enough that we had Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot tape a bilingual message after practice today that will play in tomorrow’s game,” Morris said. “The message will support the above asking fans not to toss anything on the ice during the game.”

PHT Morning Skate: Canes’ players sample girl scout cookies for the first time

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrej Nestrasil, Anton Khudobin, and Riley Nash sample Girl Scout cookies for the first time:

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Abysmal Leafs fail to sell out Air Canada Centre for first time in arena’s history; will we see more non-sellouts? (The Hockey News)

Referee KO’d after LNAH player takes out his legs. (Puck Daddy)

Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond isn’t the only player with ties to McDonald’s these days. Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty recently had a little fun with Bruins’ fans in an ad for his McDonald’s burgher “Max 67”.

From afterthought to savior, it’s been 10 wild months for Devan Dubnyk. (Sportsnet)

Prior to puck drop on Monday night the Toronto Maple Leafs honored defenseman Eric Brewer for playing in his 1,000th NHL game over the weekend.