The Washington Capitals lost starting goaltender Vitek Vanecek to injury early during the first period of Game One. But help might (?) be on the way.
Saturday afternoon, Ilya Samsonov was removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 Unavailability List.
Per the NHL’s media site, here’s who was in protocol league-wide.
COVID Protocol Related Absences – May 15, 2021:
Boston – none
Calgary – none
Carolina – none
Colorado – none
Edmonton – none
Florida – none
Minnesota – none
Montreal – none
Nashville – none
NY Islanders – none
Pittsburgh – none
St. Louis – David Perron; Nathan Walker; Jake Walman
Tampa Bay – none
Toronto – none
Vancouver – none
Vegas – none
Washington – Evgeny Kuznetsov
Winnipeg – none
It’s unclear if this means Samsonov will be back at practice or with the team on Sunday.
Samsonov and Evgeny Kuznetsov were suspended for disciplinary reasons by the Capitals on May 3. Kuznetsov showed up in protocol on May 4, while the Capitals moved Samsonov to the taxi squad where his protocol status did not have to be reported.
Samsonov assigned to taxi squad and Anderson called up from taxi squad. https://t.co/pGgeyZlgkj
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) May 3, 2021
On May 7, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said Samsonov was on the list too.
Clarity on Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov. Both are on the NHL's covid-19 protocol list.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) May 7, 2021
Samsonov showed up on the protocol list for the first time on Friday, presumably because the Capitals had to add him to the team’s playoff roster. Both players missed the Capitals’ morning skate on Saturday for Game One.
Later during the game, the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell reported that “one of the players tested positive and one was deemed a close contact.” Samsonov “was removed from the list but didn’t dress.”
The Capitals completed Game One with 39-year-old Craig Anderson in net after Vanecek suffered a lower-body injury in the first period. Pheonix Copley jumped onto the bench as the team’s emergency goaltender. Anderson started two games in the regular season. He won both games.
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