Anderson set to start for Capitals in Game 2 against Bruins
ARLINGTON, Virginia – Craig anderson is likely to start for the Washington Capitals against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup First Round on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, NESN).
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said on Sunday he had no update on the severity of the lower body injury Vitek Vanecek sustained in the first period of a 3-2 overtime win in Game 1 of the Best of 7 series on Saturday other than the rookie goaltender is day to day. Although goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov participated in optional workout after leaving NHL COVID-19 protocol on Saturday, Laviolette said he would likely need a bit of practice time before he was ready to at least dress as a substitute.
So that leaves Anderson the likely option for Game 2 after stopping 21 of 22 high-profile shots in Game 1.
âWe’re really happy with the way Anderson has played for us in the games he’s played,â said Laviolette. âYou’re talking about an experienced goaltender who has been there and done that, who has great numbers in the regular season and the playoffs, and when he was called up by our organization answered the bell. “
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Monday could be Anderson’s first Stanley Cup Playoff start since a 3-2 double overtime loss in Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final for the Ottawa Senators against the Penguins of Pittsburgh. Anderson has spent most of this season on the Washington taxi team while Vanecek and Samsonov split the goalie duties. He played four games in the regular season, including two starts, and was 2-1-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.
As he approached his 40th birthday on Friday, Anderson was the 15th oldest goaltender in NHL history to play in a playoff game. In 47 playoff games (46 starts) in his 18-season NHL career, Anderson is 24-22 with a 2.32 GAA, .929 save percentage and four shutouts. His save percentage of .929 is the second in NHL history among goaltenders with at least 40 playoff appearances, behind former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas (.933).
Before Vanecek played 13:10 in his pre-injury NHL playoff debut, Anderson was the only Capitals goaltender to appear in an NHL playoff game.
“I have been here before so I can share my experiences with Vitek and [Samsonov] and to now have the opportunity to experience what I told them, it’s a great feeling to be involved and be a part of it, “Anderson said on Saturday.” Obviously we’ll miss [Vanecek] with him going out like that, but at the same time the guys are all looking to tie up and pull that rope together and I’m here with these guys doing all I can to do my part. “
Video: BOS @ WSH, Gm1: Anderson hijacks Krejci diversion
Samsonov hasn’t played since making 23 saves in a 3-0 loss to the Penguins on May 1. He was 13-4-1 with a 2.69 GAA, .902 save percentage and two regular season shutouts.
Samsonov and center Evgeny Kuznetsov were on the ice Sunday for the first time since entering the COVID-19 protocol on May 4. Laviolette said Kuznetsov remains in protocol but is allowed to join the Capitals for certain activities.
âKuznetzov is still not available for us for a few more days,â Laviolette said. âHowever, he is available to start a process of getting back with our squad and working by rules, so both players are joining us on the ice for the first time today and we will assess and see where they stand. have no schedules … They take almost two weeks to be on the ice, train and prepare.
“We will assess them in the next few days and try to find out where they stand.”
With Samsonov’s playing status uncertain, Pheonix Copley, who was on the Washington Taxi Team and played for Hershey of the American Hockey League (10-4-1, 2.66 GAA, .896 percent d save, two shutouts), is the main candidate to retreat. Anderson Monday. The Capitals also have rookie Zach Fucale, who was recalled from Hershey on Sunday. The 25-year-old was 9-2-0, led the American League with a GAA of 1.80 and was second with a .932 save percentage this season.