Ottawa Senators head coach Dave Cameron effectively put an end to any brewing goalie controversy Monday.
Cameron announced Craig Anderson will start Tuesday when Ottawa faces Boston in a game that could have playoff implications. The Senators (30-23-11) are five points behind the eighth-place Bruins (33-22-10) in the battle for the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot.
Anderson will make his second consecutive start Tuesday. He returned Sunday night after being sidelined 46 days with a hand injury, making 42 saves in a 5-4 shootout win over the Calgary Flames.
There was some thought Andrew Hammond might start against Boston. The young goaltender has been instrumental in getting Ottawa back into the playoff hunt with an impressive 7-0-1 record.
But Cameron didn't mince words when asked why Anderson was facing the Bruins.
"Because I feel he gives us the best chance to win in net," he said. "That's the end of it.
"Easiest way for me to say that."
And that's fine with Hammond, who's more than willing to accept any role he's given.
"It's all about just controlling what I can control," said Hammond. "I mean, I can't decide who the coach starts.
"For me it's about doing whatever I can to help the team get a win. So part of that is just preparing every game as if I'm going to play. If I do end up playing, whether it's starting or coming in, in relief for some reason, I'll be ready."
In Cameron's mind, Tuesday's game isn't a must-win for Ottawa.
"No, because what happens if you lose it," he said. "As a coach, I stay away from the must-win tags unless it's Game 7.
"[The players] know. They know what's going on. That's a credit to the great job you guys do. They know the importance of this game. I want to thank you guys for that."
Boston is 4-0-1 in its past five games and Ottawa will have to play better than it did against Calgary. The Senators blew a 4-0 third-period lead and were fortunate to record the victory.
"Obviously we weren't super pleased with our last five [minutes] of the second or our entire third [Sunday night]," said Ottawa defenceman Mark Borowiecki. "It's something we addressed and we're going to be ready to go.
"It's all fixable stuff. It was all pretty self-inflicted, missed assignments, just not sticking to our game, not playing our game, our structure. We just kind of fell apart. We had no pushback and we couldn't regroup and it's something we can't let happen."