Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The NHL announced on Monday that Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov was named the NHL’s second star of the week after earning shutouts at the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday and San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
The 24-year-old made 34 saves in a 2-0 win over the Kings at Staples Center (including 14 in the first period) before pitching 22 in a 4-0 shutout over the Sharks at SAP Center.
Samsonov became the first Capitals goaltender to earn back-to-back shutouts since Braden Holtby did it on January 5 and 7 of 2017.
The Magnitogorsk, Russia, native – who has an active 151:27 shutout streak dating to Nov. 12 – has played in eight total games in 2021-22, compiling a 6-0-1 record, 2.11 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and three shutouts. It marks the second consecutive season that Samsonov has earned at least one point in each of his first seven decisions, following a 6-0-1 start through eight outings in 2020-21 (2.54 GAA, .907 SV%).
The Capitals went 2-1-1 on their four-game Pacific Division road trip last week.
Calgary Flames left-wing Johnny Gaudreau (who earned three goals and seven points in four games) was named the first star of the week while Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (three goals, five points in two games) was named the third.
The Capitals, who are currently one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan Division and two behind first place in the Eastern Conference behind just the Hurricanes and Florida Panthers, host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington).
By Harrison Brown