Samsonov named NHL’s Second Star of the week after 2 shutouts

Ilya Samsonov

Ilya Samsonov shut out both the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings last week, earning the Capitals goalie a place among the NHL’s “Three Stars” as the Second Star of the week.

Samsonov stopped 56 shots across the two contests, improving his season save percentage to .924 through eight games (six starts). He’s ceded a majority of Washington’s starts in net to Vitek Vanecek, who has a .906 save percentage in 12 appearances. The two goalies have helped the Capitals off to a strong start defensively, allowing the fourth-fewest goals per game in the NHL at 2.32.

In addition to Samsonov, Calgary Flames left winger Johnny Gaudreau (First Star) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (Third Star) rounded out this week’s top players. Gaudreau scored four goals with three assists to lead Calgary to a 3-0-1 week while Makar notched five points in a pair of wins for the Avalanche.

Thanks to Samsonov’s pair of shutouts, the Capitals went 2-1-1 on their four-game road trip to maintain their second-place spot in the Metropolitan Division behind only the Carolina Hurricanes. Up next, Washington has games against the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers sandwiched around Thanksgiving before traveling to take on the first-place Hurricanes in Raleigh on Sunday.