Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette will start backup goaltender Ilya Samsonov in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night.
Samsonov gets the nod after Zach Fucale pitched a shutout against the Red Wings on Thursday and as starter Vitek Vanecek rehabs an upper-body injury.
The Capitals will be looking to win their third straight game.
Laviolette announced the start in his pregame press conference.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 12, 2021
The Russian netminder is 3-0-1 this season with a 2.91 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. Samsonov hasn’t played a full game in two weeks, an October 29 shutout against Arizona.
As for Vanecek’s rehab, he worked out with the team on Friday, and all signs point to him possibly being available again on Sunday.
“He had a good day today,” Laviolette said. “I think that’s a positive sign. He came out and got some work inside the room and on the ice. All things are good.”
Tonight’s matchup between Washington and Columbus could have big Metropolitan Division implications early on. The second-place Capitals (18 points) sit only four points ahead of fifth-place Columbus (14). The Blue Jackets have three games in hand on the Caps and could jump back into the top four with a victory tonight.
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