Craig Anderson wasn’t expecting to get into the Washington Capitals’ Game 1 matchup with the Boston Bruins Saturday, but he did and the 39-year-old netminder proceeded to pick up the victory, leading Washington to a 3-2 overtime victory. By doing that, Anderson became the oldest goaltender in team history to win a playoff game, making 21 out of 22 saves. Anderson is likely to get the start for Game 2 against the Bruins on Monday according to the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell.
Anderson, who turns 40 on Friday, had to take over in the first period for starter Vitek Vanecek, who suffered a lower-body injury. He was already filling in for Ilya Samsonov, who was on the COVID-19 protocol list and wasn’t available to play either. Enter Anderson, who was forced to take over with No. 4 netminder Pheonix Copley standing in as the replacement goalie.
Vanecek is listed as day-to-day, according to head coach Peter Laviolette, but he could not confirm whether it will be a short day-to-day or a longer stint. Samsonov came off the COVID-19 protocol list Saturday, but there is no word on whether he might be available for Game 2. He skated Sunday for the first time in two weeks.
Regardless, the team could be putting quite a bit of pressure on Anderson, who spent most of the season on the taxi squad. He only appeared in four regular season games, posting a 2-1 record, with a 2.13 and a .915 save percentage.