Tonight here in Tampa, Ben Bishop has a chance to face his old team — the Ottawa Senators.
If he gets the start, it would mark the 32nd time in Senators franchise history that they are facing a goalie who used to play for Ottawa. The Sens record in those games is 15-11-5, but there are a lot more to those numbers.
So for fun, here are 10 quirky facts about ex-Sens goaltenders facing Ottawa:
1. The first ex-Sens goalie to face Ottawa in a game was Craig Billington, who did so on April 20, 1995 as a member of the Boston Bruins. Amazingly, Billington allowed five goals on 17 shots — and still won the game 6-5.
2. Billington is one of four ex-Sens goaltenders who managed to beat Ottawa twice after leaving the team. The other three on the list: Damian Rhodes, Ray Emery and Martin Gerber.
3. Speaking of Gerber and Emery, they are part of a select club of ex-Sens goalies who have never lost to Ottawa. Gerber (2-0-0), Emery (2-0-0) and Brian Elliott (1-0-0) make up this list.
4. As for goaltenders who never beat the Senators after leaving the team, that list includes: Dominik Hasek (0-2-0), Alex Auld (0-0-1), Jani Hurme (0-2-0) and Ron Tugnutt (0-2-2).
5. Tugnutt faced the Senators four times after he left Ottawa, but he doesn’t hold the record for the most times facing the Sens after leaving. That distinction falls to Rhodes, who faced the Sens five times in his post-Ottawa career — posting a 2-2-1 record.
6. Patrick Lalime also faced the Senators four times after leaving Ottawa. And while he holds the franchise record for shutouts with 30, Lalime never blanked the Sens when he faced them after leaving. But he shouldn’t feel too badly: No ex-Sens goalie has ever posted a shutout against Ottawa.
7. The best performances against Ottawa have been posted in recent years. Martin Gerber allowed just one goal in a 4-1 Oilers win over Ottawa on November 29, 2010. And last season, Brian Elliott also surrendered just one goal in a 3-1 win over the Sens on February 7, 2012.
8. Gerber also had a memorable performance against the Sens after he was claimed on waivers by Toronto in 2009. He made 37 saves in a 5-2 Leafs win on April 11, 2009 — just a couple of weeks after he played his last game for Ottawa. Gerber and Billington are the only two ex-Sens goaltenders to face Ottawa in the same season in which they played for the Sens.
9. Gerber is also one of three ex-Sens goalies who played for Toronto — and managed to face Ottawa in a game. That list includes Gerber, Tom Barrasso and Don Beaupre.
10. And finally, a special shout-out to the Ottawa goalies who never played a game for another team, thus making them ineligible for a mention in today’s blog. That list includes the likes of Mike Brodeur, Pascal Leclaire, Simon Lajuenesse, Steve Weeks, Darrin Madeley, Mark LaForest, Mike Fountain, Daniel Berthiaume and Mike Bales. These guys never even had a chance to suit up against Ottawa — and that’s a shame.