Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette announced on Friday that goaltender Vitek Vanecek will make his NHL debut against the Buffalo Sabres (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). “It’s a good opportunity for everyone to get in … including [Vanecek],” he said.
Laviolette told the media that there will be no line changes at forward or on defense from the team’s 5-3 win against the Sabres on Thursday night.
He said that he will talk to Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan about what to do with prospect Connor McMichael after he comes out of quarantine but added that he believes that “he’ll join us” when he is able.
On Thursday’s game, Laviolette said that “I liked the way we came out in the first” but not the third period as much. He thought that the Capitals gave up some timely goals but liked their response after giving up one. Laviolette called forward Jakub Vrana’s game-winning goal 46 seconds into the third period and 20 seconds after the Sabres cut the lead to 4-3 “a big one.”
After center Nic Dowd was not disciplined for his hit on Sabres forward Eric Staal on Thursday, Laviolette said that he is “not sure how it’s going to play out. Our guys have to be ready. … I think our guys will be ready to play” when asked about whether the hit will create some animosity in Friday’s game. Staal will be a game-time decision for the Sabres.
By Harrison Brown