Anderson blanks Oilers in emotional return
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[November 01, 2016]
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Ottawa
Senators wanted to deliver a huge emotional victory for goaltender
Instead, it was the other way around.
Anderson, rejoining the team after his wife had been diagnosed with
cancer, stepped up and stole a 2-0 victory over the high-scoring
Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night at Rogers Arena.
"We couldn't really feel the gravity until the final whistle," said
Senators captain Erik Karlsson of Anderson. "He held a strong face
but you could still see the pain in his eyes. And he came in here
and led by example. He didn't say much, had the same routine, and
showed what a true leader he is.
"He did a hell of a game and got us two points."
After returning home to Ottawa from a road trip last week to be with
his wife Nicholle, Anderson flew back west Sunday when backup Andrew
Hammond suffered a lower-body injury Friday in Calgary.
It was an incredibly selfless move that resonated with the team. And
it was more than just an emotional lift. Anderson had a stellar
night for the Senators, stopping 37 shots in the victory.
"It was an emotional night for us as a team," said Ottawa forward
Bobby Ryan. "Rightfully so that he should be emotional at the end,
because the room was as well. The way he held it for 60 minutes and
got through it speaks to his character. That was the quietest I've
ever heard a room after a win. What Andy did tonight was pretty
Center Mike Hoffman gave the Senators a 1-0 lead at 12:18 of the
second period, marking just the second goal that Oilers goalie Cam
Talbot had allowed in 248 minutes.
It stood up as the winner. Ryan scored the insurance marker into an
Anderson also posted a 22-save shutout in the first game of the road
trip Tuesday in Vancouver before flying back home.
"Pretty emotional night with everything that's been going on with
this group," said Hoffman. "Coming in here and facing one of the
best teams in the league was a big task for us. We all wanted to
play for him do everything we could. It's a tough situation for
"He's a huge part of this team and for him to come in here and stand
on his head like that ... we're a family."
The win capped a 2-1 road trip for the Senators and improved their
record to 5-3. The Oilers, who came into the game looking to
strengthen their grip on first place in the Western Conference with
a sixth consecutive victory, instead fell to 7-2-0 as they head out
for a five game road trip.
The Oilers had plenty of chances to pull ahead, especially in the
first period when they had three straight power plays and held
Ottawa to four shots, but they couldn't get anything done.
[to top of second column]
Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) makes a save during warmup
against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry
Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
"We had trouble around our blue line turning pucks over," said
Edmonton right winger Jordan Eberle. "They play a different system
that we knew was there, we just couldn't get around it. I liked our
push-back at the end, but we just needed a little more finish around
the net. That would have gone a long way. They do a good job of
keeping you to the outside."
Talbot, the game's second star, stayed on the Edmonton bench after
skating his loop to applaud Anderson, the game's first star.
"Him being able to play the way he did under those circumstances,
you have to give him so much credit, it's an unthinkable situation,"
Talbot said, adding the Oilers knew the Senators would be a tough
out given the situation.
"The hockey community is a big one and, you knew those guys were
going to rally around him in a game like that. It was an emotional
game and we knew they were going to play hard tonight.
"They played a heck of a game, and he played a hell of a game
himself. I can't even imagine what was going through his mind. I
don't know if I would be able to do what he just did right now. We
sent our thoughts and prayers to him and his family."
NOTES: Before Sunday the Oilers had trailed since the second period
of their 3-1 win over St. Louis, a run of 213 minutes, 39 seconds.
... The Senators lost backup Andrew Hammond on Friday to what the
club is calling a lower-body injury in the first period of their 5-2
loss in Calgary, so they've called up rookie G Chris Driedger to
back up Craig Anderson, who returned to the team at the urging of
his wife Nicholle, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. ... Sens
LW Clarke MacArthur is skating and hopes to return this season after
suffering a concussion in training camp (the fourth of his career).
... Sens C Curtis Lazar, who played Junior hockey in Edmonton, is in
the AHL as he fights his way back from a case of mononucleosis. ...
Oilers G Cam Talbot is tied for the NHL lead in starts by a goalie
with nine. He's played every game of the season so far for Edmonton.
He's posted two shutouts in his last three games.
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