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Injury sidelines Gerber against Leafs

Pulled leg muscle shelves start vs. Leafs; Elliott recalled to back up Auld

Saturday, 25.10.2008 / 1:45 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Injury sidelines Gerber against Leafs
The Ottawa Senators will hit the ice in Toronto without their starting goaltender.

Head coach Craig Hartsburg revealed Saturday morning that Martin Gerber suffered a pulled leg muscle during the team's practice a day earlier at Scotiabank Place. That means Alex Auld draws the starting nod for the second straight night, facing the provincial rival Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200).

Brian Elliott has been recalled from the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators to back up Auld tonight. Elliott is 3-1-1 with the B-Sens so far this season with a stellar 2.10 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.

"It’s a day-to-day thing and we don’t think it’s a long-term thing," Hartsburg told reporters in assessing Gerber's status after today's pre-game skate.

While the injury served to heighten the focus on the team's goaltending, Hartsburg said that's hardly the whole issue behind the team's 2-4-1 start this season. The Senators won only one of five games during a homestand that wrapped up Friday night with a 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Scotiabank Place.

"We’ve had some ups and downs in that position but our whole team right now has to be better," said Hartsburg. "When you’re struggling like this, you can’t look further ahead than tonight and that’s the only game that we really are concerned with. We need our goaltending to be good and that’s no secret. You need good goaltending in this league to be successful.

"But we haven’t struggled early here just because of goaltending. That’s an easy excuse for everybody to use. The team has to play better and goaltending is part of it as well. There’s no way we can just blame goaltending."

In another lineup change, Christoph Schubert is being re-inserted into the lineup and will suit up as a defenceman in place of veteran Luke Richardson.

Tonight's game is the opener of a four-game road trip that will also see the Senators face off against the Buffalo Sabres (Monday), Florida Panthers (Thursday) and Tampa Bay Lightning (next Saturday). Hartsburg thinks the time away from home could be beneficial for a team that's still trying to find its game.

"We certainly have to get better playing as a team," he said. "That’s the biggest thing and maybe being on the road will help. It gets us back to being together more than we are at home but still, the focus is we’ve got to be a better team."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06