Blues, Senators wait to decide on starters in goal

OTTAWA -- The St. Louis Blues and the Ottawa Senators have goaltending decisions to make in the hours leading up to Tuesday night's game at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Blues intended to split the workload between Carter Hutton and Jake Allen in back-to-back games that started a five-stop road trip, but they now have cause for second thought after Hutton made 26 saves in a 2-0 win over the Flyers on Monday night in Philadelphia.

It was the second goose egg the 31-year-old backup has posted in his last three starts.

"Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow, I guess," Blues coach Mike Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch when asked about his immediate goaltending plans after the victory over the Flyers.

The Senators, who suffered a 4-0 loss in Buffalo on Saturday, have elected to hold off on announcing their starter for the first of a four-game homestand until Tuesday morning.

Mike Condon, who has made a franchise-record 27 consecutive appearances, was pulled in the third period against the Sabres, but coach Guy Boucher said the move was not reflective of his performance.

The Senators' No. 1 goalie, Craig Anderson, has resumed practicing with the team after an extended leave to be with his wife while she battles cancer, but he has not started in two months and probably needs a little more fine-tuning before getting in a game.

There's also the possibility that Boucher could go with Andrew Hammond, who relieved Condon in Buffalo, but it was his first action since Dec. 18 and he has only played one full game this season on Oct. 17.

After Monday's practice, Boucher said he has been looking to give Condon a breather for some time. He also said if the Senators were playing a Game 7 in the playoffs on Tuesday night that Anderson would get the nod.

"Right now, we've finally gotten to the point where we've got options that we've been wanting for a long, long time," Boucher said.

The Blues only had 16 shots against the Flyers, and just one in the first period. It was only their third win in the last nine games, a stretch that started with a 6-4 loss to the Senators on Jan. 17 in St. Louis.

With the loss of winger Robby Fabbri on Saturday for the season to an ACL injury, the Blues recalled Ken Agostino and he made an immediate impact. Along with his team-leading four shots on goal, the 24-year-old former fifth round pick sealed the victory on Monday night with a breakaway goal in the third period.

It was the first time he had scored in the NHL since April 4, 2014.

"I don't know if we would have expected him to come out and create as much offense as he did, but definitely saw a few things that we really liked in his game," Yeo said. "Obviously like all young players, we'll make sure he stays on it. He'll get another chance to play (in Ottawa) and as far as we're concerned, that one will be more important that this one."

The Senators have built a 5-2-2 record off that win in St. Louis, a game that featured less than stellar goaltending as both Hutton and Condon made just 19 saves.

While Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone led the Senators with two goals apiece, Bobby Ryan continued to enjoy success against St. Louis by also scoring.

In 25 career games versus the Blues, Ryan has 18 goals and 32 points.

The Senators are starting to get consistent production from center Derick Brassard, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the New York Rangers. Eight of Brassard's 27 points have come in the last nine games.

"I feel I have really good chemistry now with my teammates," he told reporters after Monday's practice. "I had to get to know all the players and consider their habits on the ice. I don't think I'm doing anything different, but I feel a lot more comfortable out there."