Savin’ Sammy: Capitals rookie netminder collects first win as Caps win 2-1

In what is the first start of many, the next Capitals franchise netminder, Ilya Samsonov, registered his first win on the road versus former Capitals bench boss Barry Trotz. Behind timely scoring, great goaltending, and fantastic defense, Washington powered past the New York Islanders 2-1 on Friday night.

Prime breakout candidate Jakub Vrana kicked off the scoring for Washington. Vrana’s patented wrist shot beat Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov to put the Capitals on top.

The Islanders tied it up on a goofy triple deflection that ricocheted off of 3 separate Capitals skates. An errant pass from Devon Toews somehow escaped most of the Caps defense and slid right past the scrambling Samsonov to even the score at 1.

The Capitals scored the decisive tally on the power play after FINALLY earning the man-advantage. TJ Oshie battled with the Isles defense and chipped a loose puck over the shoulder of Varlamov to give the Caps the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.


Quick Hits:

  1. In what is likely the final season of Braden Holtby donning the red and white for Washington, we finally got to see the man likely to replace him. Ilya Samsonov looked the part of franchise goalie today. He was quick laterally, he did a good job controlling rebounds, and looked like a cornerstone for the Caps teams of the future.
  2. This Capitals defense is shaping up to be unbelievable. They are very mobile, physical, and they always seem to be in the right spot. This defense could be really special, folks. Favorite pairing so far? How about the surprising Fehvary-Gudas pairing? The reputable goon and the young greenhorn are absolutely crushing the possession game, owning over 69% (nice) of total shots on the ice. That’s fantastic.
  3. Jakub Vrana will tally a 35 goal, 63 point season. Calling it now. Quite the start for the young Czech.
  4. This team looks quite good early on, and that is without the presence of Evgeny Kuznetsov (suspension) and Michal Kempny (injury). There will be some tough decisions here once the team is fully healthy and unsuspended.
  5. Tomorrow, the Capitals finally open up the Capital One Center for the 2020 season with a fun matchup versus none other than the Carolina Hurricanes (sans Justin Williams). LGC!

Austen Adcock

Freelance writer, alumni of the University of Mississippi, hockey and baseball connoisseur

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