Ilya Samsonov To Start, No Nic Dowd Tonight Against Senators In Ottawa


Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette met with the media following the team’s optional morning skate this morning in Ottawa. He said that Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight.

Laviolette said tonight was a planned start for Samsonov. He relieved Vitek Vanecek on Saturday for two periods and overtime, after Vanecek was pulled at then end of the first period.

Center Nic Dowd did not make the trip to Canada. He was kept out of practice on Sunday with a lower body injury. He remains listed day-to-day.

It was an optional morning skate in Ottawa, but here were the Caps lines and defensive pairs from Sunday:

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Mantha-McMichael-Oshie
Sheary-Lapierre-Sprong
Hagelin-Eller-Hathaway

Fehervary-Carlson
Orlov-Jensen
TvR-Schultz

Samsonov
Vanecek

The Capitals face the Ottawa Senators tonight at Canadian Tire Centre for the first time since they defeated the Senators, 5-3, on Jan. 31, 2020. Caps captain Alex Ovechkin enters tonight’s game with 51 points (31g, 20a) in 48 career games against the Senators. Ovechkin has 11 points (8g, 3a) in his last 10 games and three straight multi-point efforts (4g, 2a) in his last three games against Ottawa. No active player in the NHL has more goals against the Senators than Ovechkin.

Through five games, Ovechkin has recorded 10 points (5g, 5a), which leads the Capitals and ranks third in the NHL. Ovechkin is currently the only player in the NHL with a five-on-five goal, a power play goal, a shorthanded goal and an empty net goal this season. Ovechkin has scored in four of Washington’s first five games to start the season. The month of October has been the most prolific month of his career. Ovechkin’s best October came in 2009 when he collected 14 goals and 23 points in 13 games in the first month of the 2009-10 season, but starting in 2017, in his last four Octobers – including this one – he has totaled 34 goals and 57 points in 41 games for a goals per game rate of 0.83.

After recording two points (1g, 1a) on Saturday against the Calgary Flames, Ovechkin is now five assists shy of 600 career assists. Ovechkin aims to become the ninth active player to reach the mark. He is also seven goals shy of passing Brett Hull (741g) for the fourth-most goals in NHL history.

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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