Ilya Samsonov To Start Against Blue Jackets

The Washington Capitals held an optional morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Saturday in advance of their tilt with the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night at Capital One Arena. Head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media following the skate.

Laviolette announced that Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal against the the Blue Jackets. Samsonov is 9-0-1-0 with a 2.52 GAA and a .915 save percentage so far this season.

Laviolette was non-committal about Conor Sheary (upper) and T.J. Oshie (lower). He said they are also waiting to see on Carlson, Hagelin and Hathway (all took a maintenance yesterday), but he’s hoping they all can play.

Capitals players getting some work in after the optional morning skate: Backstrom, Sgarbossa, Sprong, Cholowski and Vanecek (usually signals extras). Matt Irwin normally takes part in the extra skates, but did not this morning.

The Capitals continue their season-long four-game homestand tonight when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Capital One Arena. The Caps are 7-1-4 on home ice this season and are one of four NHL teams remaining with only one regulation loss at home.

Twenty-two different players have goals for the Capitals this season, tied with the Anaheim Ducks for the second-most scorers in the NHL (Vegas Golden Knights: 23 scorers). The Capitals had 22 goal scorers all of last season.

The Capitals 3.54 goals per game rate ranks fifth in the NHL this season, and it’s the second-highest goal scoring rate over the last 20 seasons in franchise history (2009-10: 3.82).

Tom Wilson enters tonight’s game one goal shy of 100 career NHL goals and with points in five of his last six games (3g, 6a). In that span, Wilson recorded three multi-points efforts.

Wilson’s 23 points (8g, 15a) in 24 games this season are the third most on the team (Alex Ovechkin: 38 points; Evgeny Kuznetsov: 28 points), and his 17 points (6g, 11a) at five-on five are tied for sixth in the NHL. With a goal tonight, the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft could become the sixth member of his draft class to reach the 100-goal mark.

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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3 Responses to Ilya Samsonov To Start Against Blue Jackets

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    If Sprong and Scarbossa are both extras, who gets to play instead? Does that mean that either TJ Oshie or Conor Sheary is back in the lineup?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cmon Sammy!

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