Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette announced in his pre-game media availability on Sunday that Craig Anderson will get the start in goal against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon.
Craig Anderson will get the start in goal against the Devils.#ALLCAPS
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) February 21, 2021
The Capitals announced on January 13 that they had signed Anderson to a one-year deal worth $700,000. The 39-year-old became an unrestricted free agent on October 9. He has yet to start a game for Washington. He made 6 of 8 stops in a relief appearance against the Flyers on February 7.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said in his pre-game media availability that this weekend’s back-to-back games provided a good opportunity to get Anderson a game.
“He’s been working hard. He’s probably been wanting to start. The schedule has allowed us to come back with Vitek. I thought he’s played really well, so we stayed with Vitek and this back-to-back situation, to me is a good opportunity for Anderson to play.”
Laviolette said that Ilya Samsonov still needs to work on his his conditioning before he will return to the team.
“He’s back, he’s with us. 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 went 11-17-2 with a .902 save percentage and a 3.25 goals-against average in 34 games with the Ottawa Senators last season. He also posted a .918 save percentage, a 2.71 goals-against average, a -0.99 goals-saved above average, and a .827 high-danger save percentage at five-on-five last season.
In 648 career NHL games with the Senators and Colorado Avalanche, Anderson has gone 289-251-67 with a .913 save percentage, a 2.84 goals-against average, and 42 shutouts. The best season of his career came in 2012-13 when he went 12-9-2 with a career-high .941 save percentage, a career-low 1.69 goals-against average, and three shutouts as a member of the Senators.
By Jon Sorensen