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Andrew Hammond’s historic run could lead Ottawa Senators to NHL playoffs – SportsUntapped.com
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Added March 30th, 2015 by Ian

Andrew Hammond’s historic run could lead Ottawa Senators to NHL playoffs
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The Ottawa Senators found themselves in need of a goalie on January 29 and called up Andrew Hammond from the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. Little did the NHL cub know that it would be their most influential transaction of the season. Hammond was needed to back up Robin Lehner as the regular starter Craig Anderson was sidelined with a hand injury.

The 27-year-old Hammond played his first game for the Senators on February 16 after sitting on the bench for the first nine contests. The undrafted goalie took over in net when Lehner was concussed in the second period after teammate Clarke MacArthur ran into him. Hammond had played 25 games in the AHL this season and had a 3.51 goals-against average and a saver percentage of 89.8. When he entered the goal crease the Senators were nine points back of the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

If we fast forward five weeks to March 29 we see the Senators just one point behind the Bruins after Hammond went on a 14-0-1 tear by playing 15 straight games and had posted a 94.6 save percentage along with a goals-against average of 1.67 and a pair of shutouts. He allowed just two goals or less against in 13 of those games including a 12 games in a row. This tied the league record which was set in 1938/39 by the Boston Bruins’ Frank Brimsek. Hammond finally lost his first game in regulation time when the New York Rangers beat the Senators 5-1 on March 26.

That loss meant Hammond just missed tying Patrick Lalime of the Pittsburgh Penguins as the only goalies in NHL history to earn a point in their first 16 games. Lalime set the record in 1996/97 when he went 14-0-2 to start his big league career. Hammond hails from White Rock, British Columbia and played four years with Bowling Green State University in America. He was never drafted and signed as a free agent with Ottawa in March of 2013. He played just one game with the Senators last year when he got in 35 minutes of relief against the Detroit Red Wings.

Hammond is known by his nickname the Hamburgler and the cartoon character is even painted on his mask. The Senators actually passed the Bruins at one point during Hammond’s historic run, but he didn’t start the game after losing to the Rangers and the Senators were beaten 4-3 in a shootout by the Toronto Maple Leafs. As of March 29 Ottawa was a point behind Boston for the last playoff spot and had a game in hand over the Bruins with eight contests remaining in the season. Hammond was given a well-earned rest against the Leafs, but fans could see him start the remaining games if Ottawa are to reach the postseason for the first time in three years.

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