The Washington Capitals departed for the Sunshine State immediately following their 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh on Sunday. Following a day off in Florida on Monday the team was back to work Tuesday morning for their gameday morning skate in advance of their tilt with the Panthers on Tuesday night.
Capitals holding a full morning skate this AM ahead of their game against the Panthers. pic.twitter.com/jcsZxz1rhM
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 30, 2021
Ilya Samsonov was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, indicating it’s likely he will get the start tonight against the Panthers. Coach Laviolette confirmed after morning skate he would indeed get the start. This will be Samsonov’s 4th consecutive start. He is 9-0-0-1 with a 2.27 GAA and a .918 save percentage so far this season.
On Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington’s penalty kill went three-for-three, their third-straight game without allowing a power play goal. Over their last 12 games, which dates back to Nov. 6, the Capitals’ 96.4 penalty kill percentage ranks first in the NHL (one power play goal against on 28 opponent power play opportunities).
In that same span, Washington has scored two shorthanded goals and has a positive goal differential while shorthanded. Washington’s four shorthanded goals this season are tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the most in the NHL and their 142 penalty minutes is tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the lowest total in the League.
Ilya Samsonov’s excellent play of late has moved him up the charts in the Metropolitan Division. For the first time this season, Samsonov currently has a better save percentage than Vitek Vanecek in all situations.
Metropolitan Divison Goaltenders – GAA, SV% and (xGA-GA) – 5v5 and All Situations – 11/28/2021 #ALLCAPS data via @NatStatTrick pic.twitter.com/Lerqy56des
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) November 29, 2021
Vitek Vanecek has a better save percentage at even-strength.
Down On the Farm
Reports of additional COVID outbreaks continue in the AHL. The Bears cancelled their game this past Sunday and Wednesday due to COVID.
Hearing Hershey & Hartford have 10-plus positives. And Bridgeport, like Providence, is in shutdown
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) November 30, 2021
The Boston Bruins announced on Tuesday that coach Bruce Cassidy is in COVID protocol, the Edmonton Oilers announced Cody Ceci was placed in COVID protocol and the New York Rangers announced that Greg McKegg (COVID-19 protocol related absence) will not skate today.
It’s probably safe to say the upcoming Olympics in China could be in jeopardy. The NHL and NHLPA have the right to back out prior to the planned departure immediately following the all-star game..
Forward T.J. Oshie did not make the trip to Carolina or Florida, but did get to attend the Washington Football Team’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
Osh making moves. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/1e90EFz05o
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) November 30, 2021
The Capitals close out their two-game road trip tonight against the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 PM.
Head coach Peter Laviolette discusses rolling last game’s lineup for tonight’s tilt with Florida and Ilya Samsonov getting his fourth straight start.#CapsCats | @socios pic.twitter.com/jlfjqNYETu
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 30, 2021
Braden Holtby, who already required the third-fewest games in NHL history to record his 200th career win, can become the 10th active goaltender to appear in 500 career contests should he play Tuesday. In the process, he can also eclipse an NHL legend if he collects victory No. 293.