Capitals head caoach Peter Laviolette has rewarded Vitek Vanecek with the bulk of starts in net this season after pitching shutouts until the third period of a majority of his games. Vanecek will get his fourth start in five games Saturday afternoon against the Calgary Flames.
The young goaltender is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. He’s only surrendered four goals total in those three starts.
Vanecek will start vs. CGY, per Laviolette. #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) October 23, 2021
“He’s certainly made some big saves,” Laviolette said of Vanecek on Friday. “He’s played really well. He got the nod to start in net based on his training camp, the way he came back and played. He hasn’t done anything to make me think differently but it’s still early as well. We still have two good, young goaltenders. The fact that he’s pushing and he’s speaking with his game, that’s a really good sign.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 23, 2021
The rest of the lineup remains the same group that took on the New Jersey Devils. That includes Connor McMichael retaining his spot centering the third line.
Laviolette says the #Caps will have the same lineup as they had on Thursday. That means Vanecek starts, McMichael on 3C
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) October 23, 2021
“I feel really good,” McMichael said Friday. “I feel like I’m playing with a lot more pace than I have in years past and I’m just a lot more confident with the puck on my stick. Just playing with Osh and Shears they’re easy to play with so it helps me out a lot. I just feel a lot more confident. Last year getting a year in pro, a year early, helped my game a lot, and coming into camp I thought I had a really good preseason.”
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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