Ilya Samsonov Returns, Michal Kempny Skates, Latest Lines: New From Capitals Practice


The Washington Capitals were back to work Friday afternoon at MedStar Capitals Iceplex following their 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The Capitals next host the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 12:30 PM. Here’s the latest from Friday’s practice.

The Capitals announced on Friday that they have recalled goaltender Ilya Samsonov from Hershey. The team also announced that they’ve re-assigned goaltenders Craig Anderson to the Capitals taxi squad and Zach Fucale to Hershey.

Defenseman Michal Kempny returned to skating activities prior to the Capitals practice on Friday. Kempny has been out since he injured his Achilles’ tendon back in October.

PRACTICE

Lines

Coach Laviolette would not commit to the starting goaltenders for this weekend’s back-to-back set against the Rangers and Devils. There is a good chance that Vancek and Samsonov will split this weekend’s games.

Video: @g_alena23

MEDIA SESSIONS

Jakub Vrana

Lars Eller

Peter Laviolette

Ilya Samsonov

SHAVINGS

  • Vitek Vanecek made 22 saves last night against the Buffalo Sabres to earn his second-straight win and improve to 7-3-2 this season, tied with Chicago’s Kevin Lankinen (7-2-3) for the most wins among rookies and the sixth-most among all goaltenders.
  • Vanecek has stopped 48 of the last 50 shots he has faced over the last two games, good for a .960 save percentage.
  • After last night’s performance, Vanecek became the fourth goaltender in franchise history to start 12 consecutive games (Jim Carey: 21-straight, 14-5-2-0 record in 1994-95; Braden Holtby: 15-straight, 8-7-0 record in 2011-12; Semyon Varlamov: 13-straight: 7-6-0 record in 2008-09).
  • This season, Vanecek has recorded a 0.84 goals saved above average rating (GSAA), making him one of 11 goaltenders with at least 10 games played to record a positive GSAA this season.
  • Should Vanecek continue to pace the NHL in wins among rookie goaltenders, this will mark the second-consecutive season the Capitals have had a rookie goaltender finish in the top-2 in wins (Ilya Samsonov: 16 wins in 2019-20).

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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