No Update On T.J. Oshie, Ilya Samsonov To Start In Goal Tonight Against Hurricanes


The Washington Capitals winged their way to Raleigh from Columbus last night following their 7-2 shellacking of the Blue Jackets. The Capitals and Hurricanes do battle tonight in the second game of a back-to-back set for both teams.

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media when the team arrived at PNC Arena this afternoon. He said that he had no update on the status of T.J. Oshie. “We are working through some things.”

Oshie left last night’s game after skating just 19 seconds of his 17th shift of the game, with 13:34 remaining in the third period. The winger logged an assist and went plus-2 in the game.

All things considered, that has to be considered somewhat good news due to the fact that Oshie was not immediately ruled out.

Laviolette also announced that Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal for the Capitals. Samsonov is 17-9-0-4 with a 2.96 goals against average and a .901 save percentage in 33 appearances so far this season.

March Madness

The Capitals (6-0-1) are the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss in March. The Capitals’ current seven game point streak (6-0-1) is one game shy of tying Washington’s longest streak of the season (5-0-3 from Oct. 13-29, 2021). The Capitals are averaging 4.43 goals per game in the month of March, which ranks second in the NHL.

Washington is allowing 2.57 goals against per game, which ranks tied for sixth. Prior to the month of March, the Capitals were averaging 3.16 goals per game, which ranked 13th in the NHL and were allowing 2.80 goals per game, which was tied for 10th.

Van-Tastic

Vitek Vanecek stopped 39 of 41 shots he faced in the Capitals 7-2 thumping of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. The save total was the fourth-most saves Vanecek has made in a game in his career.

The effort was just the latest in a string of strong showings for Vanecek, who has been trending upwards in 2022. Since January 1st, Vanecek’s .928 save percentage ranks fifth in the NHL. He’s started six of the past seven games for the Capitals and improved to 6-0 in March with Thursday’s victory.

For the season, Vanecek has the 4th best even-strength save percentage (.937%) among all NHL goaltenders with more than 500 minutes of ice time. [Click to enlarge].

Powerful Play

Washington’s 39.1 power-play percentage ranks third in March, while their 85.0 penalty-kill percentage is tied for ninth. The Capitals’ 16.4 power-play percentage prior to March was tied for 27th in the NHL, while their 80.1 penalty-kill percentage was tied for 14th.

Thursday night’s game against Columbus marked the second time this season the Capitals scored seven goals in a game (also Oct. 25, 2021 against the Ottawa Senators). Last night’s game also marked the third time this season the Capitals won by five goals and the first time since Jan. 28 against the Dallas Stars.

Scoring

All 19 skaters for the Capitals have at least a point in the month of March. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov are tied for the team lead with 10 points each (Ovechkin: 6g, 4a; Kuznetsov: 5g, 5a).

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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