“Boom, Boom, Save”: Ilya Samsonov Records First Career Playoff Win As Capitals Take 2-1 Series Lead vs. Panthers

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals took a 2-1 series lead in their first-round battle with the Florida Panthers on Saturday, winning 6-1 at Capital One Arena. It was a much-needed victory on home ice that saw a fantastic performance in the crease by goaltender Ilya Samsonov and eight players getting their first points of the 2022 Stanely Cup Playoffs.

Ilya Samsonov

The 25-year-old goaltender notched his first career playoff victory, making 29 saves for a .967 save percentage.

“Some huge saves for us throughout the game,” defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk said postgame, adding, “I think it was right before our second goal there, Sammy made a huge save. We went down and scored, so that changes the whole momentum of the game.”

Reading the play leading up to save on Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov, Samsonov said, “This is pretty quick. I didn’t see [the] puck well behind the net…boom, boom, pass, pass, save, you know? Something like that. Boom, boom, save.”

During the third period, Capital One Arena erupted into chants and cheers of “Sammy! Sammy!” Samsonov said that he almost cried hearing his name. “Thank you fans…It’s more important we play together and we got [a] great result.”

His nerves calmed after the first few saves and Samsonov said today’s game was “fun,” noting that the playoffs are what the team anticipates all season long. He noted that experience from last postseason and having the fans’ energy in the building contributed to today’s success.

First Points of the Postseason

Eight different players, which include captain Alex Ovechkin, recorded their first points of the playoffs on Saturday. Left-wing Johan Larsson, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Arizona Coyotes, picked up his first career playoff point, assisting right-wing Garnet Hathaway’s goal that made it a 6-1 game.

Additionally, left-wing Anthony Mantha recorded two assists in Game 3, marking his first career multi-point game in the playoffs.

“I thought the boys did a really good job from drop of the puck all the way through,” right-wing T.J. Oshie said. “[The] score might have been 6-1, but we didn’t score our first goal for a while. We had to grind it out for a little while and just keep going and going…Sammy was great tonight [and] really great team effort.”

The Capitals will look to extend their series lead, 3-1, Monday in Game 4 at Capital One Arena. NBC Sports Washington and TBS will have the coverage beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on X: @dellayoung
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4 Responses to “Boom, Boom, Save”: Ilya Samsonov Records First Career Playoff Win As Capitals Take 2-1 Series Lead vs. Panthers

  1. Anonymous says:

    Could Sammy pull a Holtby from 2018?

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Boom, boom, save!” Start the T-shirts’!

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