Washington Capitals goaltenderIlya Samsonov of Magnitogorsk, Russia recorded his first career National Hockey League shutout on Monday. Samsonov made 23 saves as the Capitals blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, District of Columbia.
Samsonov made six saves in the first period, seven saves in the second period and 10 saves in the third period. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton of Toronto, Ontario had five shots on goal in the game to lead Carolina. The Capitals outshot the Hurricanes 30-23.
Both of Washington’s goals in the hockey game came in the first period. In fact both goals came from Alexander Ovechkin of Moscow, Russia. Ovechkin opened the scoring at 11:58 of the first period from Tom Wilson of Toronto, Ontario and then put the Capitals up 2-0 on a power play marker from Jakub Vrana of Prague, Czech Republic and John Carlson of Natick, MA.
Ovechkin’s first goal of the game was significant because it moved him into 11th place all-time in the National Hockey League goals scoring list. Ovechkin, who now has 686 goals, moved past Teemu Selanne, who had 684 goals. The next player Ovechkin can catch is Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who is 10th on the list with 690 goals. Wayne Gretzky has the record with 894 regular season goals.
Carlson and Ovechkin have had solid offensive seasons. Carlson leads all Capitals players in points with 56 and leads all NHL defensemen in scoring this season. Ovechkin is at 28 goals and 26 assists for 44 points. Ovechkin’s 28 goals are third in the NHL behind David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins at 36 goals and San Ramon, California native Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who has 31 goals.
With the shutout, Samsonov has a sizzling record of 13 wins, two regulation losses and one loss in extra time. He has a goals against average of 2.11 and a save percentage of .925. There are already questions as to whether or not the Capitals should have Samsonov as their number one goalie and replace him with Braden Holtby.
The Capitals currently have 67 points. They are tied with the St. Louis Blues for the most in the NHL.