Capitals goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov stopped 36 of 39 shots in a 3-2 loss to Vityaz Podolsk on Wednesday. Although Samsonov was outstanding — he turned away 13 shots during the first period alone — two of the three goals he gave up show areas where the 19-year-old is still vulnerable: rebound-control, positioning, and protecting the top shelf.
4:25 into the second period, Samsonov gave up his first goal to Vityaz winger Nikita Vyglazov. It put Vityaz up 1-0.
It’s hard to see, but the play starts when Samsonov misplays a shot from the red line. Instead of freezing the puck or pushing it to a teammate, Samsonov steers the biscuit to the far boards.
Vityaz forward Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi races to the puck first. Samsonov further complicates matters by holding the post and staying too deep in his crease, perhaps expecting a shot from the wall. Shvets-Rogovoi then makes a beautiful centering pass to Vyglazov, who was a full stride ahead of two Metallurg defenders, for the easy deflection goal.
This whole play reveals some issues for Samsonov with his positioning and puck handling, which is not abnormal for such a young goaltender.
At 15:50 of the second period, Roman Khorak scored on Samsonov to put Vityaz up 2-1.
The play starts with Samsonov fighting off a backhanded shot with his body. The rebound pops back out to the shooter who skates around the net. Samsonov stays deep in the crease.
As Khorak rips a shot, the partially screened Samsonov reacts late and gives up a leaky goal through the five hole.
The loss was only Samsonov’s third regulation loss in 23 games.
Finally, and this is completely random, here’s a fan who looks exactly like a young Vladimir Putin. He sees we’re on to him, and cautiously looks away.
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