NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 27th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (29-37-9) at Atlanta Thrashers (31-31-12), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Though the 2010-11 campaign didn't go according to plan for the Ottawa Senators, their in-season pickup of goaltender Craig Anderson is making the future look a little brighter.
Anderson and the Sens aim for a fifth victory in six games this afternoon against the struggling Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
The 29-year-old Anderson is 8-4-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average since being acquired from Colorado on Feb. 18 for netminder Brian Elliott, and both of his shutouts this season have come since the trade. That includes a 2-0 blanking of the Capitals on Friday in which he made 31 saves.
Anderson has won both of his starts since signing a four-year, $12.75 million extension last Monday.
"He saw the pucks that's the important thing," Senators head coach Cory Clouston said of Anderson. "There wasn't a lot of second and third opportunities."
Erik Condra and Colin Greening each tallied in the win, Ottawa's seventh in 10 games. Though the Sens still sit last in the Eastern Conference, they are just one point behind 14th-place Florida.
Anderson is likely to get the start this afternoon in the opener of a three- game road trip and is 5-1-1 with a 2.26 GAA in his career versus Atlanta.
Ottawa has won five of its last seven on the road.
The Sens have been playing spoiler for sometime and they will look to put another dent in the Thrashers' fading playoff chances. Atlanta has split its last eight games, including Friday's 3-1 loss to NHL-leading Vancouver, and is 11 points out of a playoff spot with eight games to play.
Chris Mason was solid with 23 saves in Friday's loss, which was his third straight start. Bryan Little had the lone goal.
"Five minutes where we tried to do a little too much and we got trapped," said Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay. "Against a good team like that you can't get stuck. Other than that it was a wonderful game. Overall in our end we did a good job, except for that stretch."
Ramsay could opt to go with Ondrej Pavelec after starting Mason on back-to- back nights. Pavelec is 4-3-0 with a 2.44 GAA versus Ottawa, while Mason is 1-4-0 with a 2.71 GAA against the club.
The Senators snapped a three-game slide at Atlanta with a 3-1 victory on March 3, improving to 2-0-1 in the three meetings this year.
The Thrashers have still won four of the past six matchups overall.
03/27 10:27:56 ET