With the amount of success that Braden Holtby showed in Friday night’s 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals will be letting him start in between the pipes in Sunday’s matinee against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In their first game against arch-rival Pittsburgh, Washington will look to keep up with their winning ways.
The goaltending situation in Washington is complicated to say the least. Head coach Adam Oates has two very interesting goalies to chose from going forward. As they have lost six games in their first eight, both goalies have been hot and cold.
Holtby started the first two games, but let up an average of five goals a game and lost both in two very dismal performances. His spot was taken by Michal Neuvirth, who was looking to capture the starting spot for good. Oates put a lot of confidence in Neuvirth as he started five straight games, and actually played very well.
His 2.97 GAA was crucial in his five games. He kept the team in each game, something Holtby couldn’t have said about his first two starts. Neuvirth’s problem was the lack of offense that was surrounding him. Alexander Ovechkin and his offensive-mates averaged a mere two goals a game and gave Neuvirth no insurance at all, something that was definitely to blame for the four losses.
Braden Holtby had to make his start count as he was granted the go on Friday night. Holtby did just that! In his third career start against the Flyers, he notched 29 saves against 31 shots including some spectacular saves. He made key saves when it counted, and truly earned his start against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.