Is Braden Holtby staking claim on the Washington Capitals starting goalie spot? What was once though to be a two man show between Michal Neuvirth and oft-injured Semyon Varlamov, has quickly evolved in a three man dance. Holtby is proving worthy. Very worthy.
Tonight in Montreal, Holtby recorded his second shutout of the season to lead the Washington Capitals to a 2-0 win over Montreal Canadians. Holtby stopped 18 of 18 to improve to an impressive 10-2-2 on the season. The Capitals defense was pretty stifling tonight, allowing only 128 shots, but nevertheless, Holtby made some impressive saves in net. The shut out also boosted already highly impressive stats for the young rookie net minder. Holtby's GAA fell to 1.79 and save pecentage increased to .934. With three young goalies that have all shows some incredible skill and promise, Bruce Boudreau is in a difficult position where he needs to establish one of the three as the premier starting heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs. It is a complex, difficult problem that all NHL coaches would die to have.
The Caps got on the board very early in the first period on a beautiful two man rush to the net and a pass from Nicklas Backstrom to Marco Sturm for the goal. It was Sturm's 5th tally of the season and his first as a Washington Capital. The Sturm marker came just 1:24 into the game and was assisted by Backstrom and Alexander Semin. Caps out shot the Habs 12-3 in the first period.
Caps out shot Habs 14-8 in the second period, but both teams failed to put any markers on the board. Alexander Semin scored his 26th of the season in the third period to ice the game for the Caps. Semin's goal was assisted by Backstrom and Sturm.
Caps power play was a dismal 0 for 4 tonight and the penalty kill was a perfect 3 for 3. The win moved the Capitals to 44-22-10, 2 points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The win also kept Washington up with a 7 point lead over Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division.
Nicklas Backstrom, 2 assists
Alexander Semin, 1 goal, 1 assist
Marco Sturm, 1 goal 1 assist
DCPSR Player of the Game:
BRADEN HOLTBY, stopped 18 of 18 for his second career shutout and second shutout of his rookie season.