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Senators’ Craig Anderson returns following wife’s battle with cancer

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Senators’ Craig Anderson returns following wife’s battle with cancer


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Senators’ Craig Anderson returns following wife’s battle with cancer

The familiar No. 41 was finally back in goal for the Ottawa Senators on Saturday against the New York Islanders.

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The familiar No. 41 was finally back in goal for the Ottawa Senators on Saturday against the New York Islanders.

Craig Anderson made his first start since Dec. 5. After that game, Anderson took his third leave of absence from the Senators to tend to his sick wife, Nicholle, who is battling nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a form of head and neck cancer.

Later that month, she revealed that the tumor in her throat is responding to chemotherapy and began to shrink. She underwent her final treatment last month.

Anderson returned to practice on Jan. 30, but needed to work his way back into game shape.

Senators coach Guy Boucher likened Anderson’s return after a long layoff to jumping in a “cold water pool.”
 
“You look at it, and you look at it, and you want to get in and it’s cold and the longer you wait, it’s still going to be cold when you get in,” Boucher said Saturday. “So I think it’s jump in and swim and you’ll remind yourself that you know how to swim pretty good. I think that is where it is with Craig.

“Expectations are not that he is coming in to save us and get us a shutout. Expectations right now are to be yourself. It’s exciting, and what’s going to happen is going to happen. There is a process, and hopefully things work out for him right off the bat.”

Anderson, 35, has a .924 save percentage and a 2.46 GAA in 19 games this season. Mike Condon started in his place but returns to a backup role.

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