Washington Capitals netminder Ilya Samsonov didn’t take the ice for practice on Sunday due to a lower-body injury, the team said.
It’s unclear what the nature of the injury is. However, the team added that Samsonov will be re-evaluated on Monday.
Samsonov started the Capitals’ Saturday night preseason tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers. He played the whole game, stopping 28 of 31 shots for a .903 save percentage. He also made six saves in the third period of the team’s 5-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.
The Russian netminder said he felt motivated and optimistic coming into camp, especially after putting a tough 2020-21 in the rearview and signing a one-year bridge deal over the offseason. He also said he felt healthy and didn’t cite any injury concerns.
“I feel unbelievable. No injury, no nothing,” Samsonov said earlier at camp. “I’m just keeping forward, looks forward and get some ready for work hard.”
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The Russian netminder missed significant time last season to COVID-19 and “disciplinary reasons” down the stretch. In 19 regular-season games, Samsonov went 13-4-1 with a 2.69 GAA and .902 save percentage. He also returned for three postseason appearances for Washington and looked stronger in net, but ultimately went 0-3.
Samsonov is competing with Vitek Vanecek for the role of the Capitals starting netminder. He’s also out to prove that he can still be a No. 1 NHL goalie while putting injuries and adversity from the last couple of seasons behind him.
Through a total of 45 career games, Samsonov is 29-10-3 with a 2.61 GAA and .908 SV%.
The Capitals will have more of an idea of what’s going on when they skate again on Monday before heading up to New Jersey for another preseason date with the Devils. Beyond Vanecek, Washington still has Hershey netminders Pheonix Copley and Zach Fucale up at training camp. The team re-assigned goaltender Hunter Shepard to the Bears, along with 10 other players as part of Saturday’s round of cuts.