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Vanecek injured in first period of Game 1, replaced by Anderson originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Vitek Vanecek‘s first career start in the Stanley Cup playoffs was abruptly interrupted in the first period of Game 1 on Saturday as he came off the ice with an injury and was replaced by Craig Anderson.

Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk picked up the puck right off an offensive zone faceoff and fired a quick shot that beat Vanecek. Vanecek stretched out into the full splits to try to make the save and afterward was very slow to get up. After a conversation with Washington’s head athletic trainer, Jason Serbus, Vanecek made his way off the ice.

Vanecek had three saves on four shots in 13:10 of play. His status for the rest of the game remains unknown. If he can’t return, Pheonix Copley is the team’s third goalie. Based on the new COVID-19 protocols, teams are allowed to have three goalies available during a game and not have to rely on an emergency goalie.

Washington is already down a goalie as Ilya Samsonov was only activated off the COVID-19 absence list on Saturday and has not played since May 1.

This is just the latest development in net for Washington who has already seen Braden Holtby leave in free agency, Henrik Lundqvist miss the season with a heart condition and Samsonov put on the COVID-19 absence list twice.