Saved By Sammy: Ilya Samsonov Records Second Shutout of the Season In Crucial 1-0 Win Against the New York Islanders

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The Washington Capitals’ Thursday night game against the New York Islanders was more than just a regular season game between two division rivals, with playoff implications at stake in the final stretch of the 2020-21 season. In what was expected to be closely-fought contest, Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov stood on his head to help the Caps to a 1-0, shootout victory and an East Division lead.

While the game was much closer at the end of the shootout, which the Capitals came out victorious thanks to goals from Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the first period of play saw Washington struggle with just four shots to the Isles’ 15, and being heavily outplayed at Nassau Coliseum.

Samsonov’s first period highlight came with just over a minute left in the frame, as Islanders superstar Mathew Barzal found himself behind the Capitals’ defense all alone. Samsonov stopped a quick shot from Barzal to keep the visitors tied at 0-0.

In the shootout, Samsonov allowed a single goal to Anthony Beauvillier while stopping all other shooters to give the Caps’ shooters a chance to eventually win the game. In total, Samsonov stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the 2020-21 season and third of his career. He improved his record on the season to 12-3-1, the only goaltender in the league with at least 15 starts to have recorded fewer than four losses.

After the game, defenseman John Carlson commented on Samsonov’s play, saying:

“He came up huge, they weren’t just good saves, they were great saves. Every time they did break through us, that was the difference”. 

Head Coach Peter Laviolette added:

“He was really sharp in the first, had to make a few good ones in the second, few good ones in the third. While we were finding our legs from those three days off, he gave us an opportunity to come back in the second and third period to play a really strong game. I thought he made some big saves the entire night”.

With the win, Samsonov improved his career record to 27-8-3 in 38 career starts.


By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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1 Response to Saved By Sammy: Ilya Samsonov Records Second Shutout of the Season In Crucial 1-0 Win Against the New York Islanders

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sammy heating up, finally.

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