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Senators tab Anderson as starter in season-opener

Jan 18, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Craig Anderson Getty Images

In case there was any doubt, Craig Anderson will start in the Ottawa Senators’ season opener on Saturday, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.

It might be surprising to some that there was a question about his place as the Sens’ top netminder – particularly after he nearly topped Henrik Lundqvist in the 2012 playoffs – but the team has some fairly attractive options behind him.

Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop seem primed to jostle for the backup job (and maybe even the No. 1 gig if Anderson falters) this season.

While Bishop sports a money-related edge because of his one-way contract, Garrioch reports that Lehner is expected to dress as Anderson’s backup tomorrow. Both understudies have been impressive in the AHL, as you can see from their stats:

Lehner: 14-5-1, 1.90 GAA and .945 save percentage
Bishop: 8-3-2, 2.59 GAA and .928 save percentage

Perhaps those numbers explain a) why people wonder if Anderson has a strong hold on the starting job and b) why Lehner is dressing on Saturday instead of Bishop.

From the look of things, Ottawa’s goalie battles are just starting to heat up, though.

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Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2043)
  2. D. Alfredsson (1967)
  3. M. Fleury (1924)
  4. C. Anderson (1793)
  5. J. Schultz (1536)
  1. D. Krejci (1440)
  2. J. Boychuk (1436)
  3. E. Staal (1388)
  4. D. Setoguchi (1377)
  5. R. Lehner (1263)