Ilya Samsonov endures ‘shoot to the balls’ to beat Vitek Vanecek in first head-to-head matchup: ‘We still the friends’
The Washington Capitals jettisoned their young goaltending tandem this past offseason as they non-tendered former first-round pick Ilya Samsonov and traded former second-round pick Vitek Vanecek.
The two goalies and former close friends in Hershey quickly moved on to new teams as Samsonov signed a free-agent deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vanecek settled into the starting spot in the New Jersey Devils net.
Despite being on Eastern Conference teams, Sammy and Vitek avoided a direct matchup against one another until Tuesday night. The Leafs and Devils did battle inside Prudential Center and Samsonov came out on top in a 4-3 victory.