The Washington Capitals beat the Dallas Stars for the first time since 2008. A big part of why was Caps backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer. Grubi has won 9 of his 12 games (9-1-2) this season and has posted a sensational 92.5% save percentage and a 2.05 goals against average. And to be frank, Grubauer has the talent and ability to start on about half of the teams in the league if he weren’t in the Capitals organization.
On Saturday, Grubauer willed the Caps into overtime after making a game-saving stop with 10:30 left in the third period. Using his power and quickness, Grubi slid to the opposite side of the crease and stopped Tyler Seguin’s wrist shot with his blocker pad. It was stunning.
Capitals top goaltending prospect, Ilya Samsonov, suffered a rare loss Wednesday night as Metallurg Magnitogorsk fell to Avangard Omsk 5-2. It was only the 19-year-old’s second regulation loss in 22 KHL games this season.
But that doesn’t mean Samsonov didn’t have his moments. Such as seven minutes into the first period where Ilya made a series of insane, sprawling saves. Diving back and forth across the crease in a crazed effort to deflect shot after shot, the Metallurg Magnitogorsk goalie (and the post) turned away three quality scoring chances at the same time.
Capitals top goaltending prospect, Ilya Samsonov, has given up a lot of goals in his first two starts for Russia at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. Samsonov surrendered 5 goals against Canada on Monday and 3 goals against the United States on Thursday, giving the 19-year-old goaltender a 4.01 goals against average.
Yet, he’s been stunning in net. Samsonov has seen the second most shots of any WJC goaltender (74) and has the fifth-best (all strengths) save percentage at .892%. Samsonov’s numbers are poor because Russia’s defense has been shredded by better teams at even strength and dominated on the penalty kill, where Samsonov has given up 4 of his 8 goals.
Against the United States, Samsonov authored his most fantastic save of the tournament, stopping a gimme two-on-one goal with some weird, Dominik Hasek-esque flopping.
Caps prospect Ilya Samsonov has been dominating the KHL this season.
The 19-year-old goaltender is undefeated, tallying wins in 9 of his first 15 appearances. The 2015 first-found pick also has a .937 save percentage and a 1.97 goals against average.
Monday night, Samsonov posted his first shutout of the season against Dynamo Moscow, making 35 saves. His most difficult stop came with 11 seconds remaining in the game.
Photo: Geoff Burke
We’ve said this before, but Braden Holtby is really good (even when he’s not actually playing in an actual hockey game). Against the Islanders on Thursday night, Holtby was tremendous, stopping 24 of 26 shots. His best save came in the third period on John Tavares, but we didn’t notice until NBCSN showed a slo-mo replay.
Just another day at the office.
And apparently I’m not done writing about Braden Holtby yet today (1, 2). During the team’s morning skate, the Caps had a drill where they shot from point blank on the Holtbeast. Just like against Evander Kane on Monday, Holtby was very much up to the task, making two sensational glove saves. Like listen to the oooohhhhhh’ing of the crowd at Kettler.
The league’s most winningest goalie on the league’s best team, Braden Holtby, recorded a shutout on Monday night against the Buffalo Sabres. It was not easy. Holtby survived two almost-goals, both of which were washed out.
And then, late in the third period with his perfect game on the line, Holtby made a glove save that we thought could only happen inside the Matrix.
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