Laviolette offers update on Samsonov, Mantha after loss to Panthers


After another overtime loss, this time by a 5-4 score at the hands of the Florida Panthers, coach Peter Laviolette gave updates on netminder Ilya Samsonov and winger Anthony Mantha.

Samsonov was set to start Thursday’s game against the Panthers, but just before puck drop, was seen talking to a trainer on the bench before he disappeared down the tunnel. He re-appeared just minutes later and played the rest of the first period.

Laviolette told reporters about the move, and was vague — perhaps on purpose.

Samsonov’s wild night wasn’t over, as he was pulled after the Panthers made the score 3-1 in the second period. Samsonov stopped 15-of-18 shots on net. 

The news was perhaps worse for Mantha, who played just 7:03 and left with an upper body injury. Laviolette told reporters he didn’t have an update postgame.

Should Mantha miss time, the Capitals would be without Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Mantha just 10 games into the season. The first two injuries to Backstrom and Oshie are classified as “week-to-week.” Backstrom is on long-term injured reserve and has not played this season, while Oshie is on injured reserve and has missed three straight games. 

The Capitals will be back in action next on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Capital One Arena, where it remains unclear about Mantha’s status. Laviolette will address the issue in the coming days.

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