Hours before their first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes begins, the Washington Capitals recalled Ilya Samsonov from the Hershey Bears. According to the team’s senior writer, Mike Vogel, the move was made so Samsonov can serve as the team’s number three goaltender purely for insurance reasons.
The Capitals made a similar move last season, calling Pheonix Copley up to serve as a backup to Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer.
#Caps have recalled G Ilya Samsonov from AHL Hershey to serve as their No. 3 netminder. Standard playoff practice, nothing to worry about with Holtby or Copley.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) April 11, 2019
The move comes at an interesting time for Hershey as the Bears clinched a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs four days ago. With the regular season ending on Sunday, the Bears are now without a goaltender that led them a 19-14-2 record on the season. If the playoffs started today, the Bears first-round matchup would be with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Samsonov spent a game on the Capitals bench this season after being called up when Holtby suffered an injury to his eye.
In a corresponding move, South Carolina Stingrays goaltender Adam Morrison was called-up to play in Hershey.
More from the Capitals:
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled goaltender Ilya Samsonov from the Hershey Bears, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Samsonov, 22, has posted a record of 19-14-5 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .896 save percentage in 36 games with the Bears this season. The 6’2”, 205-pound goaltender has recorded three shutouts and posted a 10-0-1 record from Jan. 12 through Feb. 27.
Samsonov recorded a 12-9-1 record with a 2.31 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in 26 regular season games and a 1-2 record with a 2.30 goals against average and a .913 save percentage in five playoff games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) during the 2017-18 season. The Magnitogorsk, Russia, native also represented Russia in two international games, recording a 0.99 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
Samsonov played in 27 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the 2016-17 season, finishing with a 15-3-5 record, a 2.13 goals against average and a .936 save percentage, twice earning KHL Rookie of the Week honors. Samsonov also appeared in the 2017 World Junior Championship with Russia and recorded a 2.11 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in six games, leading Russia to a bronze medal and earning World Junior All Star Team honors. Samsonov appeared in 19 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the 2015-16 season, recording a 2.04 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. Additionally, Samsonov played in six playoff games, helping Metallurg win the Gagarin Cup. Samsonov also won a silver medal at the World Junior Championship, appearing in two games for Russia with a 1.00 goals against average and a .956 save percentage. In 87 career KHL games, Samsonov posted a 33-16-9 record with a 2.20 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and seven shutouts.
Internationally, Samsonov represented Russia at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, posting a 2-1-0 record, a 1.67 goals-against average and .952 save percentage at the tournament. He recorded a 46-save shutout in the bronze-medal game to lead Russia to a 2-0 win over Canada East. Samsonov also represented Russia at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and recorded two wins and a .942 save percentage to earn top goaltender honors at the 2015 Under-18 Five Nations tournament.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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