By Ian Oland
Washington Capitals goaltenders suffered from bad luck and injuries last season. Henrik Lundqvist missed the entire season and later retired due to a heart condition; Ilya Samsonov spent two long stints in protocol due to COVID-19; Vitek Vanecek severely injured his hamstring in Game One against the Bruins and missed the rest of the playoffs; and Craig Anderson, at age 39, was basically day-to-day every day.
So coming into the 2021-22 season, there is general nervousness not only about how Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek will perform, but if they can stay healthy. Sunday, the goaltending duo experienced its first injury of the new season. Samsonov is day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury Saturday night against the Flyers. He missed practice on Sunday.
G Ilya Samsonov is not practicing today with the Capitals because of a lower-body injury. He will be reevaluated tomorrow, the Capitals say.
Samsonov played the full preseason game, plus a nine-round shootout, at Philadelphia last night.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) October 3, 2021
Saturday’s game was Samsonov’s first full game of the preseason. The goalie powered through a nine-round shootout as well.
Zach Fucale joined the Capitals’ veteran group during practice to fill in for Sammy.
With Samsonov sitting out today, Fucale joined the NHL veteran group. #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) October 3, 2021
Samsonov, a Capitals’ 2015 first-round pick, is looking to grab the reins of the Capitals’ full-time starting role for a second consecutive season after Braden Holtby left in 2020. Samsonov has the talent, but he has been unable to stay on the ice for large swaths of time.
The Capitals say Samsonov’s lower-body issue will be re-evaluated on Monday.
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