OTTAWA -- To no one's surprise, Craig Anderson will be back in goal for the Ottawa Senators when they entertain the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Somewhat perplexing is that he left in the first place.
The 37-year old Anderson helped the Senators to a point in their season-opening overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, then made 34 saves as the Senators stole two from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-3 victory a couple of nights later.
Thinking he had to get his backup some action, coach Guy Boucher gave the Monday afternoon start in Boston to Mike Condon, who grew up in nearby Holliston, Mass., and cheered for the beloved Bruins. The move backfired, however, as Condon was shaky in a 6-3 loss during which he made only 24 saves.
Sharing as much of the blame was the Senators' defense, a major area of concern after the trading of Erik Karlsson in the offseason. Boucher identifies Cody Ceci as his one "shutdown" blue liner, and he is a team-worst minus-4 on the season after being tagged with a minus-2 versus the Bruins.
Not being able to have the last line hurt the Senators as Boston's top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand combined for 11 points (five goals). The Senators will face another potent unit versus Philadelphia, which is led by the Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jake Voracek line.
"Every team has got a top line you've got to be careful of," Ceci said after Tuesday's practice. "They are a little different style. They're maybe not as run-and-gun as the Boston line, but they're all really smart players that are good with the puck. Voracek is a big guy. They're definitely a line you've got to respect."
While the Senators are off to a 1-1-1 start, the Flyers are 1-2-0 and will be smarting when they arrive in Ottawa, fresh off a home-opening, 8-2 pummelling at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Brian Elliott, a former Senator, gave up all eight goals while making 40 saves.
"We (stunk). I feel so (bleeping) bad for (Elliott)," said defenseman Shayne Gotisbehere, per phillynews.com. "We left him hung out to dry. I mean, it's a little ridiculous."
The Flyers, who hadn't allowed eight goals in a game since 2011, were down 4-0 after the first period.
"I just think we played like (crap) tonight," said captain Claude Giroux, per NHL.com. "The score shows it. (Elliott) played a good game. He didn't deserve that, and it's on us."
Expected to make his Flyers debut in Ottawa is goalie Calvin Pickard, who was claimed off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Looking to score his first goal of the season on his former Colorado Avalanche teammate will be Matt Duchene, who co-led the Senators in goals last season with 23 but has only two assists to show for his efforts in 2018-19.
"The first one's always the hardest to get," Duchene said. "Yeah, you get a little anxious. Maybe a little bit. But you know it's going to come at some point, and for me it's just getting that feeling of seeing it go in the net and then it just snow balls."