Ilya Samsonov Will Start In Goal Tonight, Lars Eller Is Out

Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media this afternoon prior to tonight’s tilt with the first-place New York Islanders. He provided an update on tonight’s lineup for the Capitals.

Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight. Samsonov is 5-0-0-1 in six appearances so far this season.

Lars Eller will miss a second-straight game tonight. Eller left in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Flyers with a right leg injury.

Eller remains “day-to-day”.

Laviolette said the remainder of the lineup is still to be determined.


  • The Washington Capitals face the New York Islanders tonight for the third time this season (2-0-0).
  • John Carlson (2g, 2a) and Justin Schultz (1g, 3a) each lead the Capitals in points against the Islanders this season, while Conor Sheary also has two goals against New York.
  • Tonight’s game is the second game of the first set of three straight back-to-backs the Capitals will play from March 15 through March 26. This season, Washington is 6-1-0 in their four back-to-back sets and a combined 31-15-7 in back-to-back sets over the last three seasons.
  • At the season’s midway point, the Capitals are 18-6-4 (.714 point percentage), good for the fourth-highest point percentage in franchise history halfway through the season. With a 6-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, the Capitals are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games.
  • During that span, which began on Feb. 25, the Capitals rank second in the NHL with a .900 point percentage, second in goals per game (3.90) and are tied for seventh in goals against per game (2.40), through games played March 15.
  • Additionally, during this span, Washington is allowing 27.3 shots per game, the seventh-lowest rate in the NHL, while their expected 1.74 five-on-five goals against per game is the third-lowest in the NHL, through games played March 15.
  • This season, Washington’s 71 five-on-five goals rank first in the NHL, while their 12.3 team shooting percentage ranks first in the NHL. Dating back to March 9, Washington has scored at least five goals in each of their last four games, marking the first time Washington has accomplished this feat since Feb. 5-11, 2017 (four games).

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 Civil 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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