Ilya Samsonov Gets The Start In Goal Against Panthers

The Capitals didn’t hold a gameday morning skate on Friday due to the 5:00 PM start time for their traditional “Black Friday” tilt, this year with the Florida Panthers. As a result, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media at 2:45 PM to provide an update on the team.

Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal for the Capitals. Samsonov (7-0-1) became the first goaltender in Capitals franchise history to record at least one point in each of his first eight decisions of a season.

Lars Eller, Justin Schultz and Conor Sheary are all out of the lineup tonight against the Panthers. Eller has returned from Anaheim and resumed skating, but has not been cleared to play.

The Capitals conclude their two-game homestand tonight when they face the Florida Panthers for the second time this season. The Capitals have earned a point in 22 of their last 28 games against the Panthers (17-6-5).

Washington will then head on a two-game road trip where they will visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday and again face the Panthers on Tuesday.

The Capitals are 12-3-5 (29 points) through the first 20 games of the season, tied for the third-most points within the first 20 games of the season in franchise history (2019-20: 32 points; 1991-92: 30 points; 2015-16: 29 points; 2010-11: 29 points).

The Capitals have had 29 players appear in a game, the seventh time in franchise history the Capitals have utilized at least 29 players in the first 20 games and the first since 2001-02 (31 players).

The Capitals, who sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division, rank fourth in the NHL in both goals for per game (3.50) and goals against per game (2.35), and they are the only team in the NHL to rank in the top four in each respective category. Washington ranks first in the NHL in five-on-five goals (52), and additionally are allowing 27.3 shots per game, the second-lowest rate in the NHL (Seattle Kraken: 26.6 shots against per game).

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 interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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