Goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who is 16-5-1 with a .916 save percentage, a 2.41 goals-against average, and one shutout this season, will start in goal when the Washington Capitals visit the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). The 23-year-old has just appeared in one game since getting pulled for the first time in his NHL career in a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on February 10, when he allowed five goals on 20 shots.
Head coach Todd Reirden told the media that goaltender Braden Holtby, who has appeared in six of the Capitals’ last seven games, will start when the team visits the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. The 30-year-old has posted a .911 save percentage during that stretch after a 30-save outing in the Capitals’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Jets on Tuesday.
Hear from Coach Reirden after today’s morning skate before the team heads to Winnipeg pic.twitter.com/kFtKBXFJs8
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 26, 2020
Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly said that the league hopes to announce the Carolina Hurricanes’ opponent for next year’s Stadium Series game at Carter-Finley Stadium, home of the NC State Wolfpack’s football team, within the next 30 days. While a Capitals’ spokesperson has said that the team will not be participating in the event, Daly would not rule the Capitals out as the opponent. Daly also said that while the Capitals will not play a Global Series game in Russia next season, they remain interested in going there and the league is working to accommodate that request.
Reirden said captain Alex Ovechkin hosted a “get together” for the entire team, players, coaches, staff, and more to celebrate his 700th career goal on Saturday at the New Jersey Devils and win against the Jets on Tuesday.
The Capitals made no lineup changes after winning their second game in a row.
Capitals Wednesday practice lines:
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 26, 2020
Goaltender Connor Hellebyuck, who is 26-20-5 with a .918 save percentage, a 2.72 goals-against average, and four shutouts this season despite playing 52 games, will start for the Jets on Thursday night. In six appearances against the Capitals, the 26-year-old is 3-2-1 with a .928 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average. He allowed three goals on 45 shots (.933 save percentage) in two games against the Capitals last season.
From Out Of Town
- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete will miss the rest of the season with a fractured foot
- Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin will miss four weeks due to a broken hand
- New Jersey Devils forward John Hayden has been fined $2,016.13 for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi
- The NHL said that they are monitoring the coronavirus as it hopes to go to China again in September
CAPS TODAY: Jakub Vrana set a new career high in goals last night (25g), and his 1.69 goals per 60 minutes of five-on-five play is the fifth highest rating in the NHL since 1997-98. More info on Vrana and the Caps at https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/iBy9Pyklo0
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) February 26, 2020
By Harrison Brown