After 13 consecutive games with rookie Vitek Vanecek in the net, veteran goalkeeper Craig Anderson will start his first game in a Capitals jersey this afternoon against the New Jersey Devils.
Anderson gets the start on the second game of a busy back-to-back weekend.
Craig Anderson will make his #Caps debut today vs. NJD.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 21, 2021
Andeson is getting the nod over Ilya Samsonov, who is back with the team but still working on his conditioning.
“He’s with us,” Laviolette said according to the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. “He was on the ice again today. I think right now we’re just trying to get his game shape and conditioning back to where we can get it to so that he can be successful and feel comfortable once he returns to our team.”
Anderson made the Capitals after receiving a professional try out before training camp. He started the season on the Capitals taxi squad, but was soon moved to the back-up goalie position when Ilya Samsonov entered COVID-19 protocol.
On Jan. 14, the Washington Capitals officially announced the signing of the 39-year-old goaltender to a one-year, $700k contract. Anderson has only played in one game this season when he stepped in halfway through the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 7th. The Capitals ultimately lost that game 7-4.
The 18-year NHL veteran has been in net for five teams during his NHL career. He has played in 649 games with 289 wins and 252 losses and a .913 career save percentage. While playing for the Ottawa Senators in 2017, Anderson was award the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
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