Two days after a near-perfect relief appearance that ended in an OT loss to Salavat Yulayev, Caps top goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov was the starter in net today for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in a 6-4 win over HK Sochi.
Flailing Metallurg, which tore through the KHL’s Eastern Conference last year, had lost their previous four games. At times today the team seemed likely to lose again, blowing a three-goal lead in the span of just eight minutes.
But Samsonov staved off the loss and stanched some of the bleeding. Critically, the young netminder locked down the net in the third period, stopping 12 of 13 shots and giving Metallurg confidence to break away from their opponents.
GIFs and highlights follow after the jump.
Statistically for the young netminder, this was another average game, in which he posted only a .882 save percentage. Overall, Sochi scored two PPGs, one shorthanded goal, and once at even strength. However, it’s hard to fault Samsonov for all of those markers.
On the shorthanded goal against, questionable defense by Metallurg allowed Sochi to recover the puck near the dot.
Four Metallurg defenders collapsed on the crease, leaving the goal-scorer wide open.
While Samsonov’s rebound control, a perennial issue, played a contributing role here, the defense left the Caps prospect in a jam by not quickly dumping the puck behind the net.
On Sochi’s second goal, Samsonov lost his footing after a save, getting pulled behind the net. Another Sochi forward streaked toward the crease undetected by two puck-watching defenders.
Samsonov, meanwhile, remained fixated on the puck behind the net until the last second, when it was already too late.
After today’s win, Metallurg is right in the middle of the KHL’s standings at 14th, with a record of 6-5-3. Metallurg coach Ilya Vorobyev, noted in the post-game press conference that this game was “morally important for [the team]. We will build on it.”
Full highlights from the KHL’s website below.
Photo credit: @hcmetallurg Instagram
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