Anderson is making strides

The solid play of Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner in the Ottawa Senators net for the past five games has allowed coach Paul MacLean and general manager to breathe a little easier while Craig Anderson recovers from his kitchen accident. Anderson’s rehabilitation appears to be coming along fairly quickly. The Senators number one goaltender appeared without a cast on his injured right hand when he accepted a pre-game honour Thursday as the club’s MVP for February. He was also on the ice before the Senators practice Friday, stopping shots with a modified blocker. He was holding a stick, approximately one foot long, underneath the blocker. “I think there’s some real good progress, real positive progress for him,” said MacLean. “There’s still not a timeframe on it.”

VANEK COULD SIT OUT: On Thursday, the Senators caught a break when Brandon Dubinsky was held out of the Rangers lineup due to a hand injury. It’s also possible that the Senators won’t have to deal with Buffalo Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek on Saturday. Vanek suffered an upper body injury after being drilled by Johnny Boychuk of the Boston Bruins in Boston’s 3-1 win over Buffalo on Thursday. Vanek didn’t practice Friday. “He’s a little bit sore but doing OK,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “I can’t answer that question [if Vanek will miss the game]. It all depends on how he’s feeling tomorrow.” The Sabres shuffled their forward lines at practice Friday and Cody Hodgson, acquired from the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline, was centering a top line between Ville Leino and Jason Pominville.

TICKET SHORTAGE: The Senators announced Friday that only 6,000 tickets remain for the seven games remaining in the regular season at Scotiabank Place, including 200 for Saturday’s game against the Sabres. The back-to-back games against the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs next Friday and Saturday are virtually sold out. The toughest sell will be an April 3 tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes. As of Friday, 2,400 tickets for that game were unsold.

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