Goaltender Vitek Vanecek, who has missed three straight games after leaving the Washington Capitals’ 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 1 with an upper-body injury, skated on his own prior to the team’s practice on Saturday but did not skate with them. That hints that the 26-year-old will likely not return against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday (12:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).
Vanecek, who is 10-6-5 with a .915 save percentage, a 2.39 goals-against average, and two shutouts this season, sustained the injury 6:43 into the first period of that game after colliding with Penguins right-wing Kasperi Kapanen in the goal crease.
Ilya Samsonov and Pheonix Copley were the only goaltenders skating with the team on Saturday.
Capitals lines at Saturday practice:
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 12, 2022
Anthony Mantha did individual work after practice with Caps’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish.
The Senators will host the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon before flying to Washington. Here are their lines for Saturday’s game.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 12, 2022
Matt Murray started in goal vs. the Bruins, suggesting that the Capitals will see Anton Forsberg in the crease on Sunday.
— Charlie McManus (@CharlieMcManus9) February 12, 2022
Right-wing Drake Batherson, the Senators’ leading scorer with 21 assists and 34 points in 31 games this season, is not expected to return until late March or early April due to an ankle injury while right-wing Scott Sabourin (hand injury), center Colin White (shoulder), and center Josh Norris (shoulder) are all out with long-term injuries.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 12, 2022
* Montreal Canadiens acquired G Andrew Hammond from Minnesota Wild for LW Brandon Baddock
CAPS TODAY: With rookie Joe Snively’s two goal effort against the Canadiens, the Capitals have had eight rookie first time goal scorers on their roster for the third time in franchise history. More info on Snively and the #Caps rookie class at https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/uGA5UwyLxh
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) February 12, 2022
By Harrison Brown