Craig Anderson has carried the Ottawa Senators, but they'll likely have to find someone else to lift the team for the near future.
The goaltender has a sprained right ankle and is expected to miss the Senators' attempt at a season-high fourth straight win Saturday night against the surging Toronto Maple Leafs.
Before suffering his injury in Thursday's 3-2 shootout win over the New York Rangers, Anderson had a league-best 1.49 goals-against average and was one of six netminders with multiple shutouts.
His efforts helped Ottawa get off to a solid start while compensating for a scoring attack that was among the league's least effective with 2.3 goals per game. Anderson will reportedly sit out three to four days.
The Senators (10-6-2) are already without reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, who will miss the season while recovering from a lacerated Achilles tendon. Veteran center Jason Spezza (back), Milan Michalek (knee), Peter Regin (chest), Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash) and Jared Cowen (hip) are also among the injured.
"It's the last thing we need. (Anderson has) basically been the heart and soul of our team, or at least a large part of it," defenseman Marc Methot said. "It's unfortunate, but it's the luck we're getting right now as a team."
With Anderson out, the Senators will likely lean on Ben Bishop, who had a 2.29 GAA in three starts before allowing two goals on 13 shots in relief Thursday.
Bishop gave up three goals on 18 shots in his only game against Toronto, a 3-1 defeat March 17, while the recently recalled Robin Lehner made 23 saves in his lone matchup, a 3-2 victory Oct. 30, 2011.
Whoever starts will try to end the team's three-game skid to the rival Maple Leafs (11-7-0). Ben Scrivens outdueled Anderson by stopping 34 shots in a 3-0 home victory last Saturday.
Scrivens has started five straight games with James Reimer dealing with a knee injury and made 31 saves in Toronto's seventh victory in nine contests, 3-1 over Buffalo on Thursday. The first of James van Riemsdyk's two goals broke a 1-all tie in the second period.
Scrivens is 3-1-0 with a 1.32 GAA over his last four games. He gave up four goals in a loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday before rebounding against Buffalo.
"You just try to go out and give the team the best chance to win," Scrivens said. "You do that by making sure you can see pucks and trying as hard as you can."
Toronto, 7-3-0 on the road, will seek its seventh win in nine visits to Ottawa. The Maple Leafs have won four times in their last five games there, but the Senators are 7-1-2 at home and will try for their first four-game win streak on their own ice since Dec. 30, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012.
Phil Kessel has six goals and eight assists in his last 10 matchups with the Senators, and 11 goals and seven assists in his past 15 visits to Ottawa.
Tyler Bozak, who scored in last weekend's victory, has six goals and four assists in his last 10 games against the Senators.
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