Hockey Night in Canada

Senators bench Andrew Hammond for Craig Anderson

The Ottawa Senators are turning back to Craig Anderson in net, benching regular-season sensation Andrew Hammond for Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

Ottawa makes goalie switch for Game 3 vs. Montreal

The Senators hope Craig Anderson can rally them from a two-game deficit against Montreal. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators are turning back to Craig Anderson in net, benching regular-season sensation Andrew Hammond for Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

Coach Dave Cameron revealed his decision at the morning skate in Ottawa.

"Personally, it's disappointing," Hammond said. "You want to play every game; every goaltender wants to play every game. But all you can do at this point is be ready and support everything the team's doing right now."

The rookie Hammond helped Ottawa rally to an improbable playoff berth with his impressive play over the final weeks of the regular season, but he and the Senators lost their opening two playoff games in Montreal.

Anderson was Ottawa's starter for much of the season before he and then-backup Robin Lehner were injured, paving the way for Hammond's ascension.

Hammond, 27, made his first NHL start on Feb. 18 and promptly won 14 out of 15, with the lone loss coming in a shootout. He matched a 76-year-old record by allowing two or fewer goals in his first 12 NHL starts and finished the regular season with a 20-1-2 record and a sparkling 1.79 goals-against average as Ottawa stormed from out of contention to qualify for the playoffs on the regular season's final day.

Along the way, Hammond became a cult hero of sorts, with a nickname ("the Hamburglar") to match.

But he didn't look as sharp in the first two games of the Senators' playoff series against Montreal, losing 4-3 in Game 1 and 3-2 in overtime in Game 2, putting Ottawa in a hole as the series shifts back home on Sunday.

Anderson, 33, lost the starting job to Hammond after injuring his hand in late January, then posted a 3.42 GAA in his final four starts after returning.

"Hammond came in here and did a wonderful job," Anderson said. "He got us to where we are right now.

"Because of what he did, I'm in the situation now talking to you [reporters]. I actually owe him a thank you and a pat on the back."

Cameron also said he expects to insert tough veteran Chris Neil into the third line in place of Alex Chiasson. Neil hasn't played a game since Feb. 14.

With files from The Associated Press

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