Anderson will start against Winnipeg

Now in the midst of his first three-game winning streak of the season, Craig Anderson is feeling much better about the state of his game.

Anderson will start against Winnipeg
Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators makes a stick save against the Washington Capitals during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on December 30, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/NHLI via Getty Images)

Now in the midst of his first three-game winning streak of the season, Craig Anderson is feeling much better about the state of his game.

But he acknowledges he owes much of his recent success to his closest friends on the ice – namely the defencemen in front of him.

“For me, it’s about following the puck,” said Anderson, who will start against the Winnipeg Jets Thursday. “If I can see the puck, I can usually stop it and you need help from defencemen allowing you to see the puck and keeping guys from getting to the net and getting second and third chances.”

While Anderson received raves for robbing Washington’s Eric Fehr with a glove save with the Senators nursing a tender 2-1 lead late in Monday’s game, he says the stop was much easier because of the work of the defencemen on the play.

“It’s recognizing those times to be aggressive. If you know it’s going to be a shot only, you can be aggressive. On (the Fehr shot), my defenceman came across, took away the guy in front of the net and pushed him away so I could get a clear view of the shot and be able to read and react to that. But if the defenceman had kind of hesitated and doesn’t take away an option, then I’m kind of at the mercy of the forward shooting.”

Anderson also says he – and the rest of the team – had to block out the ‘here we go again’ thoughts when Zack Smith took a penalty in the final two minutes. The Senators lost games against Florida on Dec. 19 and Phoenix Dec. 21 when they yielded a late power play goal.

“In your head, you have to change (that game) and change it to an imaginary victory,” he said of the mental games he plays with himself. “You have to see yourself winning and that carries you on to the next one. If you have a negative picture in your head, you’re going to get negative results. So you have to change it.”

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