Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media this afternoon in Edmonton prior to the their game against the Oilers. Laviolette announced that Ilya Samsonov will start in goal for the Capitals and that there would be no other changes to the lineup.
Ilya Samsonov will start in net for the Capitals tonight in Edmonton, coach Peter Laviolette said.
No other lineup changes for the Capitals.
Mikko Koskinen starts for Edmonton.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) March 9, 2022
Samsonov is 17-9-0-3 with a 2.93 goals against average and a .9-1 save percentage in 32 games played so far this season. His last game was on February 28 against the Maple Leafs where he was pulled after one period of play.
Daniel Sprong, Michal Kempny and Matt Irwin will once again be the healthy scratches. Puck drop for the Capitals and Oilers is 8:00 PM ET on TNT.
Alex Ovechkin scored two goals Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames, marking his 35th and 36th goals of the season and the 765th and 766th of his career, tying him with Jaromir Jagr for the third-most goals in NHL history. Ovechkin (1,253 GP) tied Jagr (1,733 GP) in 480-fewer games played and will now look to pass him when the Capitals take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Rogers Place.
Alex Ovechkin brings himself within one goal of third place on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring leaders, finishing off goal #765 with a rip from the slot!#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/uvsUZFoMQ8
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) March 9, 2022
Ovechkin additionally recorded his 157th career multi-goal game, leaving him one shy of tying Brett Hull (158) for the second-most multi-goal games in NHL history. Ovechkin’s second goal stood as the game-winner, the 120th of his career, leaving him one shy of Gordie Howe for the second-most game winning goals in NHL history.
#ALLCAPS 5-3. OVI ENG. HES TIED WITH JAGR FOR 3RD ALL TIME GOALS. NOW 8 ENG ON THE SEASON. ONE MORE TO TIE THE RECORD FOR MOST IN A SEASON pic.twitter.com/mSUc6DIMrx
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) March 9, 2022
Ovechkin ranks fourth in the NHL with 36 goals this season and eighth in points (70). The Capitals hold a record of 20-3-4 when Ovechkin scores a goal this season and a 26-9-6 record when he records a point. Ovechkin is on pace to record 50 goals this season. No player in NHL history has reached the 50-goal mark at the age of 36 or older. If he’s able to reach the 50-goal mark, he will tie Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky for the most such instances in NHL history (9x). Ovechkin would additionally tie Gretzky for the most 40-goal seasons in NHL history (12).
Bet the “over”.
So two stikes against us. First, Samsonov in net.
Second, the Caps have never done well when Ovi is oh-so-close to a record. Instead of playing a normal game, they all focus on getting Ovi that record. I expect that tonight will be no different. Hey, I love Ovi to set records. But when everyone is looking at Ovi, they stop watching the rest of the Caps and the rest should have more opportunities to shine and win. But when the sole strategy is to pass the puck to Ovi (who will have a TOI of 30plus minutes) so that he can shoot it at the net, the Caps lose their way and make it easy on the opposition.
Hope I’m wrong, but we have seen it too many times before.
True! They just said on the broadcast that he steps up when he’s knocking on the door of a milestone. I don’t recall it that way in the past. (No imperial data) also hope I’m wrong.