Will Vaneck make it back for Game 2 and who might replace him?
While things aren’t very clear at the moment, the injury did look quite severe. Peter Laviolette didn’t want to give too much away in the post-match interview, stating that he’ll address the situation the following day; then saying “And then probably give you nothing.”
Vanecek sustained the injury while diving to stop a powerful shot from Jake DeBrusk, which unfortunately for the Capitals went in and tied the game at 1-1 during the first period. The NHL futures have Washington as one of the teams most likely to clinch the Stanley Cup title, but they’ll need to find a replacement for their star keeper if they are to make a decent run at the Cup.
At 39-years old Craig Anderson brought a wealth of experience to the team, replacing the 25-year old rookie. But, while he’s one of the more experienced players on the Capitals roster, he hasn’t played in the NHL playoffs since 2017. Moreover, Anderson hasn’t been on the ice much at all this season, playing a handful of games, with just two starts.
Anderson came on with the Capitals having only let one goal through and managed to only concede one more in 2 quarters. The Washington team erupted in elation to see Nic Dowd find the net in overtime.
Anderson got the nod for the game, as second-string goaltender Ilya Samsonov wasn’t available for selection due to the NHL COVID-19 protocol. Given that, it does look like Anderson will be starting Game 2 against Boston.
He’s hardly a bad replacement as he put up 2.13 GAA and a .915 save percentage during the regular season. His performance hasn’t gone unnoticed and if he can step up and perform as he has in this one, he will give the staff something to think about when selecting a goaltender once Vanecek returns fit.