Capitals sticking with Holtby in goal for Game 3 12:35 PM ET
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The Washington Capitals will keep Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby as the starter in net when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins for Monday’s Game 3, coach Barry Trotz announced Sunday.
Holtby was yanked for the start of the third period in what became a 6-2 Washington loss to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Saturday night. That dropped the Capitals into a 2-0 hole in the Eastern Conference second-round series.
“Obviously, it’s never where you want to be,” Holtby said.
On Saturday, after Holtby gave up three goals on nine shots in the second period, Trotz sent out Philipp Grubauer for the final period, but the backup did not distinguish himself, allowing goals on the second and fourth shots he faced.
Braden Holtby will get the opportunity to help the Capitals cut into their series deficit against the Penguins on Monday. Geoff Burke/USA TODAY SportsHoltby won the Vezina as the NHL’s top goaltender last season and is one of three finalists this season. But he has not been as good as usual in these playoffs, compiling a .911 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average.
He tied for the league lead with 42 wins for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals and became only the third goaltender in NHL history to record at least 40 wins in three consecutive seasons. He ranked second in the league with a 2.07 GAA and fourth with a .925 save percentage.
Grubauer had 13 wins and a 2.04 GAA as the primary backup. Two years ago for the Capitals, he became the first German-born goalie to start an NHL playoff game.
The Capitals held a team meeting after Saturday’s game, and though players didn’t want to get into specifics, forward T.J. Oshie said it consisted of “things that people needed to say, our leaders needed to say, and things that people needed to hear.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Capitals sticking with Holtby in goal for Game 3