Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
After goaltender Vitek Vanecek left 13:10 into the first period of the Washington Capitals’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 over the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury, Craig Anderson made 21 saves on 22 shots, including all 18 he faced at even strength, to become the oldest goalie in team history to win a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (39 years, 359 days).
👏 Andy appreciation tweet 👏 pic.twitter.com/ieaGeV3y1Z
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 16, 2021
Anderson also became the fourth-oldest goalie in NHL history to earn a playoff win in relief.
His night included a couple saves from in tight, a few in the chest, and multiple sharp-angle ones.
The win was the 39-year-old’s 24th career playoff win. His .929 career playoff save percentage is the second-highest in NHL history among goaltenders who have appeared in at least 40 games.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 16, 2021
Saturday’s game marked Anderson’s first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance since Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final with the Ottawa Senators.
Head coach Peter Laviolette told the media after the game that the status of Vanecek is unknown. Ilya Samsonov came off of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Saturday but he will likely need a few practices as he has not seen the ice since May 1.
Craig Anderson (39 years, 359 days) is the oldest goaltender to earn a #StanleyCup Playoffs win with the @Capitals, eclipsing the previous mark held by Mike Liut (34 years, 110 days) in Game 5 of the 1990 Division Finals.#NHLStats: https://t.co/bNn0T1qWSZ pic.twitter.com/GR5zv4f9J8
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 16, 2021
Anderson appeared in just three regular-season games this year, going 2-1-0 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average.
By Harrison Brown