Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond was forced out of Friday night’s 5-2 loss to Calgary after suffering what is being described as a lower-body injury by head coach Guy Boucher.
Hammond was replaced after the first intermission by Chris Driedger and will be re-evaluated on Saturday according to Boucher.
Ottawa is currently without starting goaltender Craig Anderson, who has been granted a leave of absence by the club to attend to a personal matter.
Anderson stopped all 22 shots faced during Tuesday’s 3-0 win against Vancouver, the first game in a three-game road trip for the Senators, before leaving the team on Thursday morning.
With Hammond’s status unclear and Ottawa set to take on Edmonton on Sunday night, it seems almost certain Matt O’Connor will be called up from the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by Ottawa in 2013, Hammond shot to fame in 2015 when he put together a remarkable 20-1-2 run to help the Senators make a late push for the playoffs.
He signed a three-year contract extension with the organization that summer and was largely solid again for the club while backing up Anderson last season. However, he has struggled early this year giving up six goals on 29 shots through his first two starts.
22-year-old Driedger has just three career NHL appearances to his name, and no starts, with a 2.533 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. Prior to Friday, his last appearance for the Senators was on Dec. 12, 2015 against Montreal.
Boston University alumni O’Connor also made an appearance for the Senators against Montreal last season, starting the game versus the Canadiens on Oct. 11, 2015, giving up three goals on 34 shots in a 3-1 loss.