The Washington Capitals took a major sign of relief as Alex Ovechkin returned for the team’s morning skate and all of Monday’s COVID-19 tests returned negative. However, they saw a key goaltender missing, as Vitek Vanecek was absent.
Per the NHL media site, he is listed on the team’s injured reserve list.
Vanecek suffered an upper-body injury in the first period against Pittsburgh following a collision with Kasperi Kapanen. He didn’t play on Wednesday and hasn’t been back on the ice with the team.
Pheonix Copley and Ilya Samsonov were both on the ice for Tuesday’s skate. Samsonov did not take part in Monday’s optional, as Copley was the only team netminder on the ice for that practice. Brett Leonhardt suited up as the No. 2.
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It’s a tough break for Vanecek and the Capitals, as No. 41 started to get in a rhythm. Over his last six full games, he has been outstanding, stopping 160 of 170 shots (.941 save percentage) and recording a 1.67 GAA.
It’s unknown who will start on Tuesday against Columbus. Samsonov had gotten the call on Wednesday but was pulled for Copley after 5:07 minutes after surrendering three goals on four shots from Edmonton. Copley proceeded to impress with 21 saves on 22 shots (.955 save percentage).