Vanecek stopped 34 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Vanecek was solid despite losing his second straight game, registering his best single-game saves total since the calendar flipped to February. The 25-year-old has put up a .927 save percentage over his last four appearances, but he'll soon be yielding at least a portion of the workload to the returning Ilya Samsonov.
Vanecek will get the start in Tuesday's home game against the Penguins, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports. Vanecek turned aside 26 of 27 shots during a Feb. 16 meeting with Pittsburgh and will be called upon to make his 15th start of the season. The 25-year-old's days as a workhorse might be coming to an end with Ilya Samsonov nearing a return, but he's a dependable start even with a tougher matchup on deck.
Vanecek stopped 20 of 23 shots in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Rangers. New York's final goal was scored into an empty net. Vanecek was coming off two strong starts earlier this week, but fatigue may have been a factor for the 25-year-old as he was between the pipes Saturday for a 13th straight game. Ilya Samsonov appears just about ready to return to action however, potentially putting Vanecek back on the bench, or at least into a timeshare.
Vanecek will patrol the crease during Saturday's home game versus the Rangers, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports. Vanecek has been razor sharp recently, picking up back-to-back wins over the Penguins and the Sabres while posting an impressive 1.00 GAA and .960 save percentage. He'll try to pick up his eighth win of the season in a home matchup with a Rangers team that's only averaging 2.33 goals per game this campaign, 26th in the NHL.
Vanecek made 22 saves in a 3-1 win over Buffalo on Thursday. He was beaten by Victor Olofsson, who beat the twinetender with a wrister from the left circle while on the power play. Otherwise, Vanecek bricked up the twine tent. He'd had a tough February but has won two in a row with just two goals allowed in those two games. As with any rookie, Vanecek will have ups and downs. But he's a solid activation when he's in the net, though Ilya Samsonov will be back soon to share the crease.
Last 7 Games
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