Ilya Samsonov Will Start Against Ducks, Garnet Hathaway In COVID-19 Protocol – News From Capitals’ Morning Skate


Following a much-deserved day-off for the team on Sunday, the Washington Capitals were back to work on Monday for morning skate in advance of their rematch with the Anaheim Ducks Monday night at Capital One Arena.

Ilya Samsonov was the first goalie off the ice this morning and will get the start in goal tonight against the Ducks. Samsonov is 10-1-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a .917 save percentage so far this season.

The Capitals lines at morning skate:

Garnet Hathaway is unavailable due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol the team announced on Monday morning.

Duck Hunt

The Capitals continue their season-long four-game homestand when they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight for the second and final time this season. The Caps have posted a record of 8-1-4 at Capital One Arena this season and are one of three NHL teams with just one regulation loss at home.

Washington lost the first matchup to Anaheim in overtime, 3-2, on Nov. 16 at the Honda Center. The Capitals have won eight of their last 14 games against the Ducks and have earned a point in 13 of their last 19 games against Anaheim (11-6-2). Alex Ovechkin has earned 26 points (12g, 14a) in 21 games against Anaheim in his career. The Capitals have posted a 10-4-0 record against the Ducks in games when Ovechkin earns a point.

Inside The Numbers

The Ducks have the better special teams and face-off numbers heading into Monday night’s tilt with the Capitals. They are also generating more shots per game but the Capitals are doing better at shot suppression.

The Capitals currently have slightly better possession numbers, with a sizable advantage in high-danger goals for percentage. The Capitals also have better goals for and against differentials than the Ducks.

Coach Laviolette

Tonight’s game against the Ducks will mark Peter Laviolette’s 82nd game as the head coach of the Capitals. Laviolette was named the 19th head coach in franchise history on Sept. 15, 2020. Currently at a record of 51-19-11 over the last two seasons, Laviolette is the only coach in franchise history to earn 50 wins within his first 82 games. Regardless of the result tonight, Laviolette will have the best 82-game start in franchise history by a head coach.

There have been 20 instances in NHL history of a head coach earning at least 50 wins within his first 82 games. With a win tonight against Anaheim, Laviolette’s points percentage will rise to .701%, which will tie for the ninth-highest points percentage by a head coach among this group. Laviolette, who recorded the most wins by an American-born coach in NHL history on Oct. 13 against the New York Rangers and passed Pat Quinn for the 11th most wins in NHL history on Nov. 24th against the Montreal Canadiens, is now four wins shy of passing Dick Irvin (691) for the 10th-most wins in NHL history.

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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