Ilya Samsonov Starts In Goal Tonight, T.J. Oshie, Anthony Mantha Skate At MedStar: News From Tuesday Morning’s Optional Skate In Nashville


The Washington Capitals made their way to Music City Monday afternoon in advance of their game against the Predators tonight in Nashville. Puck drop is set for just after 8:00 PM ET.

The skate was optional this morning for the team. Coach Laviolette met with the media following the skate where he announced Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight against the Predators.

Laviolette also stated that T.J. Oshie and Anthony Mantha skated yesterday at MedStar. Both did not make the trip to Nashville.

Vitek Vanecek, who made the trip with the team, watched morning skate from the bench in full goalie gear, and was likely to get ice time after the team’s workout.

Laviolette Returns

Peter Laviolette returns to Nashville – a place where he racked up 248 wins in six seasons – for the first time as the head coach of the Caps and is one win shy from becoming the 10th coach in NHL history to reach the 700-win milestone.

Smashville

The Capitals face the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena for the second and final time this season. The Capitals defeated the Predators 5-3 on Dec. 29, 2021, at Capital One Arena.

Tonight’s tilt will be another fairly even matchup. The Predators have the league’s 8th best power play and 14th ranked penalty kill, but take the league’s most penalties. The Capitals have the better shot differential so far this season.

Alex Ovechkin enters the game with goals in two of his last three games against the Predators (3g) and is currently on a four-game point streak against Nashville (3g, 3a).

Road Warriors

The Capitals are 14-5-4 on the road this season and boast the second-highest points percentage (.696) in the NHL. Washington’s 2.52 allowed goals per game on the road ranks fourth in the NHL, while their 3.35 goals per game rate ranks seventh. The Capitals are one of five teams to rank in the top-10 in both respective categories. Over the last two seasons, the Capitals’ .706 road points percentage ranks first (33-12-6 record).

Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 24 points (13g, 11a) in 22 road games this season, while Nicklas Backstrom has recorded seven points (2g, 5a) in seven road games since his return from injury. Ovechkin’s 383 career goals on the road are the second most in NHL history, only trailing Wayne Gretzky (402).

Martin Fehervary

Daily Twitter Poll

We asked folks on Twitter if they felt the loss of famed goaltending coach Mitch Korn in the Barry Trotz departure has had any impact on this season’s goaltending:

COVID Protocols Update

Capital One Arena provided an update on vaccination and mask requirements, with changes beginning today.

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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2 Responses to Ilya Samsonov Starts In Goal Tonight, T.J. Oshie, Anthony Mantha Skate At MedStar: News From Tuesday Morning’s Optional Skate In Nashville

  1. Anonymous says:

    Samsonov’s chances have to be dwindling. Caps are doing everything they can to give him the chance.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Losing Mitch Korn was arguably as big a loss as losing Barry Trotz.

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