04/23/2015 02:25 EDT | Updated 07/20/2015 03:59 EDT

Anderson starring for Senators in playoffs after long stint on the bench

OTTAWA - Forced to take a back seat during the Ottawa Senators' remarkable run to the playoffs, goaltender Craig Anderson is happy to be back in a starring role.

The veteran netminder posted his third career playoff shutout Wednesday night as Ottawa defeated Montreal 1-0 and forced a fifth game in their first-round playoff series with the Canadiens.

Anderson was sidelined due to a deep bone bruise suffered Jan. 21 and was then relegated to the backup role as Andrew Hammond took the Senators on a 20-1-2 run to make the post-season.

Anderson was then forced to watch coach Dave Cameron go with his hot goaltender and start Hammond for the first two games of the series in Montreal. But Anderson was thrown in for Game 3 as Cameron looked to change things up after a pair of losses.

It wasn't the most popular decision considering Anderson had only played four games since January and had posted a 1-2-1 record. The Senators lost Game 3, but Anderson was solid and no one is criticizing his performance in Game 4.

"I thought I was fighting it a little bit in the first period of Game 3 and fortunately it didn't hurt us at all and they didn't score on any of those mishaps that I had," Anderson said. "As the game wore on I felt more comfortable. There's a lot of positives to pull out even though we lost that game. I think we used some of that good feeling for Game 4."

Anderson said losing his job to Hammond wasn't the easiest time of his career, but with the way Hammond was playing he couldn't argue with the decision.

"If I go out there and pout and complain that doesn't do myself any good or the team," Anderson said. "This is a team game, you need everyone on the same page, everyone playing well. It doesn't matter if you're playing every game or every other game or once a week or once a month, you're still part of the team and you have to find a way to push yourself to be ready when called upon."

The 33-year-old Anderson said he's energized by the playoffs and feels "25-years-old again." His success comes as no surprise to his teammates.

"I think he was hungry, I mean he was starving to get a chance again," said forward Clarke MacArthur. "In the past he's had good playoff runs and good numbers so I'm not surprised. He played great for us all year and for him to come in and do what he's done is what you expect of him and the only chance you have to compete really."

Defenceman Marc Methot said Anderson's rebound is pretty much what the team expected knowing his personality.

"I think what's most remarkable about it is that he had all that time off and still manages to come back in and plays the way he has been playing," he said. "That's a credit to his work ethic and his competitive nature. He wants to play and wants to be that guy. Having that veteran presence back there is huge for the team."

Friday's Game 5 is back at Montreal's Bell Centre, where Anderson has had notable success.

He was instrumental in the Senators' 4-1 defeat of the Canadiens in the first round for the 2012-13 playoffs. He won two games at the Bell Centre, where he has a playoff .949 save percentage.

The Bell Centre is considered one of the tougher buildings in the league to play, but Anderson says he isn't concerned and is hopeful to build off his past success.

"Things have changed, teams have changed, but the one constant is the building and the fans and the energy and the atmosphere," he said. "If we can manage that and go in there and play the way we've been playing we give ourselves a chance. We don't know how the game's going to end up, but if we leave everything out there hopefully it ends up in our favour."