The Senators were the surprise of the Eastern Conference a season ago, finishing 8th and sneaking into the playoffs during a year that many assumed would be for rebuilding.
The Sens have continued their surprise success into 2013. After an opening day victory in Winnipeg over the Jets, the Sens continued to dominate the Southeast Divsion with consecutive wins over the Florida Panthers on Monday and last night in Sunrise.
Goaltender Craig Anderson has been the surprise story on the surprise team, playing all three games for the Sens and allowing only two goals on 87 shots over the first three games of the season, good for a near perfect 0.67 GAA and stellar .976 save percentage.
His play has the Senators with an unblemished 3-0-0 record, sitting atop the Northeast Division with 6 points.
The good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who will be celebrating captain Vincent Lecavalier's 1000th game played with the club?
Anderson is not likely to be between the pipes in Tampa on Friday night.
As per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:
Craig Anderson will start today. There is a good chance Ben Bishop plays tomorrow in Tampa. No pre-game ceremony tonight _ thankfully.
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) January 24, 2013
With the Senators coming off Thursday night's victory over the Panthers and a 48-game, compacted season, it's expected that Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean will rest his starter and go with Ben Bishop against the Lightning.
Conversely, the Bolts will go back to goaltender Anders Lindback despite Mathieu Garon's strong effort against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Boucher confirms Anders Lindback will get the start tomorrow night against Ottawa.
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher had this to say about going back to Lindback for the tilt with Ottawa:
"We have a young goalie who needs to see some ice."
Puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.
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