Ilya Samsonov’s first game back after nearly a month away due to COVID-19 did not go well.
In a rehab start for the Hershey Bears, the 23-year-old Russian gave up five goals on 29 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Sammy was sent down to Hershey earlier in the day.
Last week, Samsonov said he had trouble walking and breathing when sick with coronavirus.
The Phantoms took a 3-1 lead early and barraged Samsonov with 14 shots in the first period. The Bears fought back though, eventually forcing overtime.
Good first period from Samsonov. Tough bounce to give up a goal with less than a minute left in the first. 12 saves on 14 shots so far. LV leads 2-1 after 20 pic.twitter.com/oZt6kM14rn
— Kyle Mace (@kylemace) February 14, 2021
Earlier in the day, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette stressed that there was no timetable for Samsonov’s return to Washington and he could play multiple games for Hershey until he gets his stamina and timing back.
Samsonov made 24 saves for a .827 save percentage. It was Sammy’s first start for Hershey since May 9, 2019 — a playoff loss to the Charlotte Checkers.
Last season, Samsonov was promoted to Washington and spent the entire year as Braden Holtby’s backup until he injured himself during the regular-season pause for the pandemic. He received consideration for the Calder Trophy at year’s end.
Headline photo courtesy of Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
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