PRINCETON, N.J. – Former Richmond goaltender Rastislav Stana became the 224th former ECHL player to advance to the National Hockey League when he made his debut with the Washington Capitals on November 14, stopping all seven shots he faced in the third period of a 5-2 loss against Tampa Bay.
Making his first professional start on Monday at Detroit, Stana made 38 saves in a 4-1 win over the Red Wings to become the first Slovakian-born goalie to win an NHL game. Stana represented his native Slovakia in the 2002 Winter Olympics and in the World Championships in both 2002 and 2003, winning a gold medal in the 2002 World Championships.
Prior to being called up to Washington on November 4, Stana was 3-2-0 with a shutout, a 1.84 goals against average and a .931 save percentage in six games with Portland of the American Hockey League. In 2002-03, he was 8-11-4 with a 2.17 goals against average and two shutouts for Portland.
Selected in the seventh round (193rd overall) by Washington in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-2 and 184-pound Stana was 20-12-3 with a shutout, a 2.72 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 36 games with Richmond in 2001-02. He also appeared in three games with Portland going 1-2-0 with a 3.66 goals against average. The 23-year-old began his professional career in 2000-01 going 15-16-2 with a 2.56 goals against average, sixth in the ECHL, a shutout and a .914 save percentage in 38 games with Richmond. The Kosice, Slovakia native was 0-2-1 with a 4.09 goals against average in three games with Portland in 2000-01.
Stana becomes the ninth ECHL player to make his NHL debut in 2003-04 joining Darryl Bootland, who played for Detroit on November 8; Travis Brigley, who played for Colorado on October 26; Garrett Burnett, who played for Anaheim on October 8; Andrew Hutchinson, who played for Nashville on October 18; Boyd Kane, who played for Philadelphia on October 16; and Michael Ryder, who played for Montreal on October 9; Dany Sabourin, who played for Calgary on October 29; and Mike Stuart, who played for St. Louis on October 24.