While trying to survive without Craig Anderson, the Ottawa Senators have received impressive play between the pipes from Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner. With Lehner playing slightly better and helping the team snap a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Friday, the team has elected to give Lehner the start tonight against the Boston Bruins.
The past six games have seen the goalies alternate every other start, with Bishop getting a win and taking two losses and Lehner getting a win and suffering losses in a shootout and overtime. Lehner’s goals against has been slightly more impressive and the Bruins present a tough challenge, so going with the hot hand tonight makes a lot of sense. Boston will enter tonight’s game with a 16-3-3 record, second place in the division and fourth overall in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have only lost one away game in regulation this season and the Senators have only lost at home once in regulation. Tonight, one of those marks will change and the Senators hope that Lehner will be the one to stop the Bruins offense and end their two-game winning streak. Staring at him from the other end of the ice will be Tuukka Rask, who is coming off a 3-0 shutout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Rask has a 12-2-3 record this season with a 1.97 goals against average.
Five points currently separate the Bruins and Senators in the standings, but with both teams trailing the Montreal Canadiens they are at this point competing for fourth place in the standings. Division match-ups like tonight’s are even more crucial in this shortened season, and presents a great chance for Lehner to make a case that he could be a big part of the Senators’ plans for the future.