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.
Lars Eller, Justin Schultz (lower body), and Conor Sheary (upper body) all are out for tonight vs Florida.
Eller is back in DC after quarantining in Anaheim bc of Covid protocols and resumed skating but he’s not ready yet.
Cholowski will draw in and be on a d-pair with TvR.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 26, 2021
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).
Head coach Peter Laviolette discusses tonight’s lineup with Dennis Cholowski slotting in for Justin Schultz on the blue line.#CapsCats | @socios pic.twitter.com/vDkMtAaT7T
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 26, 2021
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