It had been a long time since Ilya Samsonov had gotten into a game for Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He last played for nearly six minutes in a game on November 2 where the team lost 3-1. His previous game before that was on October 24 where he and his team were on the wrong end of a 3-1 score against Neftethimik.
Samsonov played in the game on November 22, which was also against Neftethimik, the last team he had started against. This time, Magnitka lost 5-2. Samaonov made 26 saves in 30 shots on goal for a save percentage of .867 in the game. His season record is now 6-6 with a save percentage of .909.
Samsonov’s struggles seem to be paralleling those of the current Caps’ backup goalie, Philipp Grubauer. Magnitka had won the Gagarin Cup for 2015-2016 and made it to the Gagarin Cup Finals in 2016-2017. Similar to the Caps, many players on their team left in free agency and now the team is barely in the playoff picture, in sixth place as of this writing.
By Diane Doyle