Capitals Coach Todd Reirden confirmed Tuesday morning that Holtby (19-10-4) was slated to start against the Kings before Samsonov’s injury.
Reirden said taking Samsonov off the ice was “purely precautionary.” Samsonov was walking around the dressing room after practice and telling teammates he was “okay.” He is 16-3-1 this season; Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins ended an 11-start winning streak.
Vanecek has yet to play in an NHL game but has backed up Holtby twice this season, when the team had to send Samsonov down to Hershey because of salary cap reasons.
“Obviously an accident,” Ovechkin said. “I’m pretty sure he’s a big boy. He’s fine.”
Fehervary to play against the Kings
Defenseman Martin Fehervary was recalled from Hershey on Tuesday morning and will play against the Kings. The Capitals, who have no injuries on the blue line, want to assess Fehervary’s development.
Fehervary will replace Jonas Siegenthaler on the third pair, skating alongside Radko Gudas. How long Fehervary will remain in Washington isn’t determined, but Reirden said the staff would like to see him “a couple times if possible."
“This is the right spot to put him in to start with tonight to see where he is at so we can continue to evaluate where our prospects are at [and], as we get closer to the trade deadline, taking inventory where our players are at," Reirden said. “So it’s a good time to do it.”
Fehervary said the call-up from Hershey was unexpected, though he always was hoping to get another chance after his short stint in October. Fehervary, 20, appeared in three games with the Capitals earlier this season. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound rookie averaged 14:29 of ice time and recorded a 54.72 shot attempt percentage (29 shot attempts for, 24 against) during five-on-five play.
In Hershey, Fehervary has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 45 games this season. Among rookie AHL defensemen, Fehervary’s 10 assists are tied for 17th, and his plus-12 plus/minus ranks fifth.
“This has gone pretty much as perfect as we want it to go for a young defenseman to go down to play a bit, the team to have success,” Reirden said. “It’s worked out really nicely. Now, it’s just how things fit here and we get a chance to look at it.”
In Hershey, Fehervary has been playing on both the left side, his natural side, and the right side.
The past two weeks, he has played mainly on the left, whereas a month ago, he was on the right. Reirden clarified that Fehervary has played on his off side with his Swedish club, so switching is “something he is prepared for,” adding that this has been a great development year for Fehervary.
“Yeah, I don’t have any issue playing on the right side,” Fehervary said. “I don’t have any issues playing on both sides.”
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