Vitek Vanecek’s 36-Save Shutout Performance Lifts Capitals 4-0 Over Hurricanes

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek had a big night on Thursday, helping the team defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 at Capital One Arena. He made 36 saves in his first start since February 1 and notched his third shutout of the season.

It marked his fifth NHL shutout. His 36 saves are the most he’s made in a shutout in his career.

Vanecek has recorded a .946 save percentage and 1.55 goals-against average over his last nine games dating back to January 15, a span that includes three shutouts.

On Sunday, Vanecek was sent to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on a conditioning loan and played that night, making 21 stops on 23 shots faced. He was recalled by the Capitals the following day.

The conditioning stint resulted after Vanecek suffered an injury in the first period of the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 1.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, Della enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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12 Responses to Vitek Vanecek’s 36-Save Shutout Performance Lifts Capitals 4-0 Over Hurricanes

  1. Lesliej427 says:

    And why are we still obsessing about who our #1 goalie is?
    Unless we intend to bring in some rockstar, IMHO we can start focusing on other issues.
    Last 9 games = . 946 save percentage, 1.55 goals against average, and 3 shutouts.
    Please find me all the goaltenders that have better stats than that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    God bless Vitek Vanecek!

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Vitek! says:

    Ever since watching Vitek in Hershey it was clear he had a great future. Samsonov has potential but the Caps need to embrace Vitek as their guy. I get that the organization built Samsonov up – but it’s time to change direction. Don’t get me wrong – I like both guys overall. But Vitek is our guy. Hands down.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree. It’s Vitek’s cage from here on. Samsonov has some growing up to do, which is to be expected, he’s a kid. He needs to commit and put in the work.

  5. Anonymous says:

    V does have a habit of letting in goals he shouldn’t though, but at this point not that many and he’s getting more and more consistent. still think sammy has a higher cap if he can get it together and put in the work

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I agree on both of your points to an extent. VV will have the occasional goof, but all goaltenders do. One thing I can say about him, having followed him closely for the last six years is he is still gradually getting better and better each season. I don’t think we’ve seen his best.

      Unfortunately for Samsonov he’s trending in the wrong direction and has been for the last two seasons. He has some growing up to do, but I think he can do it over the long haul, if he wants to. I’m not convinced he wants to dedicate himself and fully commit to what’s required to become a top tier goaltender in the NHL. If he wants to he can be. I’ve also tracked him since his draft day in 2015, through Metallurg and Hershey. When he’s at his best, he’s top tier.

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