Ilya Samsonov Gets The Start In Goal Tonight: News From Capitals Optional Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals held an optional morning skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex Wednesday morning. They host the Tampa Lightning tonight at Capital One Arena with puck drop set for 7:30 PM on TNT.

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette told media this morning that Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight against the Lightning. Laviolette gave his stock answer when asked about potential lineup changes.

Players participating in the optional skate: Forwards: Wilson, Larsson, Dowd, McMichael, AJF Defensemen: Jensen, Fehervery, TvR, Irwin, Kempny. G: Vanecek, Samsonov. The Lightning did not hold a morning skate. The Capitals lines at yesterday’s practice:

Peter Laviolette

Tom Wilson

Lightning Arrester 

The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Capital One Arena for the third and final time this season. The Caps are 0-1-1 versus Tampa Bay this season with both games being decided by one goal. In the season series, Washington has outshot Tampa Bay 66-50.

Alex Ovechkin has recorded 92 points (49g, 43a) in 74 career games against the Lightning, the third-most points he has earned against an NHL franchise (Carolina: 98; Atlanta/Winnipeg: 94). Ovechkin ranks first in NHL history in goals (49) and points (92) against Tampa Bay and ranks fourth in assists (Nicklas Backstrom: 48, Jaromir Jagr: 47, Daniel Alfredsson: 46). Ovechkin has scored 20 goals (20g, 9a) in his last 24 games against Tampa Bay.

Captain Points

Ovechkin enters tonight’s game one point shy from notching his 1,400th career point. Ovechkin recorded an assist on Sunday versus Minnesota to pass Jari Kurri (1,138) for the 21st-most points in NHL history. Ovechkin currently ranks fourth in the NHL with 42 goals and is aiming to reach the 50-goal mark for the ninth time in his career. That would tie Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history. Ovechkin would become the first player in NHL history to reach the 50-goal mark at the age of 36 or older. His current 42 goals this season are tied with Phil Esposito for the third-most by a player aged 36 or older in NHL history.

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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6 Responses to Ilya Samsonov Gets The Start In Goal Tonight: News From Capitals Optional Morning Skate

  1. novafyre says:

    Hmm, might need to listen to Phil Esposito as he calls the game tonight for Lightning Radio.

    It will be the Ancients battling the Absentminded.

    The Caps look old, tired, and slow. They play east-west, go to the perimeter and stand, don’t rush and crush the net. Once they get in place away from the net, they just pass and pass because it’s not as taxing on their old bodies.

    The Bolts keep making mental errors — stupid penalties, errant passes, poor positioning and puck management, all things their players know not to do. Or used to know not to do. Vassy is also not as sharp this year as previously — he’s merely good instead of great.

    I expect both teams to exit in the first round unless drastic improvements are made.

    • steven says:

      Time for a new HC and staff. Playing Johansson is no better than playing a player down as he offers nothing. Have no idea what GMBM was thinking in trading for him. He should have kept the picks and just just let sprong go at the end of the season. Guess he wanted to show his boss that he did something, not much other than lose picks. Yes they are old adn slow and so predictable. They go for the perfect pass all the time and perfect shot. Part of the problem with this team is the HC changing the lineups every few games. maybe its time to cleannhouse this summer and get rid of Eller, Carlson, Orlov, Backstrom and let the younger guys play and see what they can do, This team needs to get younger and faster and not happening by keeping this roster and getting players like MoJo and Larsson. Sad to say but they are no longer a Cup team but for this year and maybe next they are a one round playoff team after than unless big changes are made they will not make the playoffs but GMBM will trade the picks needed to rebuild this team to get older players in hopes of keeping them in the playoffs and he will fail. Hasnt this team, owner and fans had enough of the GMGM clone?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Huge game. If they lay another dud after all the talk about internal players only meetings and the need to step up, I’m gonna officially be worried.

    • novafyre says:

      I’m not sure the players meeting will make a difference. They are not deciding who’s on the ice and who sits. They are not deciding the lines. They are not magically changing their veteran bodies. They are not drawing up the plays.

      The GM and HC have decided that this is to be an old, veteran team with an old playbook. Most of the Caps’ success this year occurred when the subs were in (Oct-Dec).

      Now, the team that could benefit from such a meeting is Tampa. They have been making a lot of mental mistakes even though they have proven that they know better. In their case it appears they have the right players and right plays, and it is just lack of attention that has spoiled their execution.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Teams could play blindfold against them and win they are so predictable. Will go up the ice on the right side 95 % of the time, then dump it in. Pass backwards 2 or three times on the pp to start. Boom one minute is up because they lose the face off. Carlson and ahultz pick the wrong time to pinch in because they are too slow to recover. Ad long as carlson is leading the team in ice time they won’t win a series.

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    Let’s hope the Caps are good and fired up for tonight.

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