Vanecek leaves after Capitals goalie injured in Game 1 against Bruins


Vitek Vanecek left Game 1 of the Stanley Cup First Round when the Washington Capitals goalie was injured in the first period against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Vanecek was replaced by Craig Anderson with 6:50 remaining in the period after appearing to injure his lower body failing to make a save on Jake DeBrusk‘s goal that tied it 1-1.

Vanecek was making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut after leading NHL rookies in wins (21-10-4) with a 2.69 GAA, .908 save percentage and two shutouts during the regular season.

“At the start, I was feeling like I was a rookie, getting new things, learning the NHL,” Vanecek said. “But then [after] I was playing more and more games, I wasn’t feeling like a rookie anymore. I was feeling like I’ve been here forever.”

He was 4-3-0 with a 2.86 GAA and .905 save percentage against the Bruins during the regular season. 

Anderson is playing his first NHL postseason game since May 25, 2017, for the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was 2-1-0 with a 2.13 GAA and .915 save percentage in four games this regular season, having played two games since Feb. 22.

Pheonix Copley will back up Anderson. Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov was released from NHL COVID-19 protocol earlier Saturday.

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