Ilya Samsonov Will Start In Goal, Lars Eller Back In Lineup Against The Hurricanes

The Washington Capitals didn’t hold a morning skate on Sunday due to the early 1:00 PM start time against the Hurricanes. However, head coach Peter Laviolette did meet with the media at 10:45 AM to provide an update.

Laviolette announced that Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal this afternoon against the Hurricanes. Samsonov is 8-0-1 with a 2.30 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. It will be his third consecutive start for the Capitals.

This is the first time that Samsonov has started three consecutive (regular-season) games in his NHL career. (Samsonov did start three consecutive games last year in the playoffs). He’ll also be starting for the 5th time in a six-game stretch.

Laviolette also said that Lars Eller will return to the lineup this afternoon. Eller has been in COVID protocol since the start of the west coast roadtrip, but returned to D.C. late this week after quarantining in Anaheim for 10 days. Eller returned to practice for the first time on Saturday.

Laviolette also said they are “working through some things in the room” regarding all the other injured players and wouldn’t say if they traveled with the team (Sheary, Schultz, Oshie etc).

Freddie Andersen is expected to get the start between the pipes for the ‘Canes. He’s 11-3-0 with a 1.90 goals against average and a .936 save percentage so far this season.

The Capitals start a two-game road trip when they face the Carolina Hurricanes today for the first time this season. This marks the first time the Capitals have played the Hurricanes since Jan. 13, 2020, a 2-0 Capitals win at Capital One Arena.

Alex Ovechkin has earned 95 points (43g, 52a) in 81 career games against the Hurricanes, marking the most points he has earned against a single franchise. No active player has more goals, assists and points against the Hurricanes than Ovechkin, and his 43 goals only trail Michel Goulet (62g) and Dave Andreychuk (52) for the most against the franchise in NHL history. Ovechkin enters today’s game two power play goals shy of passing Andreychuk (274) for the most power play goals in NHL history.

Aliaksei Protas, who is scheduled to play in his 11th game this season, recorded two assists on Friday against the Florida Panthers, marking his first career multi-point and assist game of his career.

Among Capitals players with at least 10 games, the Capitals rookie ranks third on the team with a 53.71 shot attempt percentage (94 shot attempts for, 81 against) at five-on-five. Although he is averaging 12:09 in nightly ice time in his 10-game NHL career, Protas has skated upwards of 17 minutes in two of the last three games.

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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1 Response to Ilya Samsonov Will Start In Goal, Lars Eller Back In Lineup Against The Hurricanes

  1. DWGie26 says:

    I’d like to see McMichael on left wing so we have an extra center in case we need to limit Eller minutes. Just gives some flexibility. Afraid Sprong is going to be on outside looking in as more players (Sheary and Oshie) get back into the lineup.

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