The Ottawa Senators were in need of a spark to work their way out of a recent five-game winless skid, and they definitely received one in the form of goaltender Robin Lehner.
Lehner was named the NHL’s first star of the week for his outstanding efforts in a three-game win streak that included victories over the Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers. In those three contests, the 6-foot-4 Lehner stood tall, allowing only four goals and turning aside 91 of the 95 shots that he faced.
Lehner’s strong performances came at a critical time as the Senators had to make do without the services of no. 1 goalie Craig Anderson for a pair of those games because of a neck injury he suffered in a game against the Dallas Stars. Anderson served as the backup in his return to the lineup against Florida as head coach Paul MacLean elected to stay with the hot hand.
While Anderson has seen more action so far this season, it is actually Lehner who has produced the better numbers. His GAA is 2.13 and his save percentage is a sparkling .945. Lehner is definitely pushing Anderson for more playing time and the goaltending area is a position of strength for the club.
The Senators now find themselves 7-6-2 on the season. While the current win streak is a welcome change after the previous tough stretch, there’s no doubt that MacLean is hoping to see his charges perform at a high level on a more consistent basis. They have the talent to be able to do that.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports