The Ottawa Senators were able to snap a five-game losing streak on Tuesday night, and they did so with starting goaltender Craig Anderson scratched with a neck injury. Robin Lehner filled in between the pipes, and looks ready to make the most of this opportunity and make a case for more playing time the rest of the season. After a solid effort last season, Lehner should earn at least some consideration from the Senators for a better split with Anderson, especially after Tuesday’s 32-save performance against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Lehner’s 1-2-2 record for the season doesn’t look great on paper, but he has helped his team earn four points in those five games. Anderson is 4-4-2 and he could miss more time after being crashed into by Valeri Nichuschkin of the Dallas Stars in a game on Sunday. Last season, Lehner was 5-3-4 and along with Ben Bishop was a big part of the reason the Senators were still in playoff contention when Anderson returned from injury. If helping his team earn at least a point in nine of 12 games last season wasn’t enough, Lehner will now look to provide the spark the Senators need to get things back on track.
Expected by many to be a contender in the Eastern Conference this season, the Senators have struggled to a 5-6-4 record while ranking 27th in the league in goals against. They have proven they can score goals, they have a fairly potent power and a solid penalty kill, but the Senators defense has not helped out Anderson much this season. They played better in front of Lehner against Columbus, and hopefully that win can be a part of them getting things back on track. Lehner has shown he’s ready for more action, and he should be in line for a salary bump in the offseason after his entry level contract runs out.