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Save of the night: Braden Holtby stuns and stops the Leafs

Jan 23, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

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Braden Holtby

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

We know that last night’s 4-1 Caps win over Toronto is going to be known more for Alex Ovechkin‘s hat trick to set the pace for the offense and lead the way to victory, but the play of 21 year-old rookie goalie Braden Holtby was the real gut-puncher for the Leafs last night.

Try as they might, the Leafs threw everything they could at Holtby and they could only break through just once and Holtby passed the night with countless great saves. One in particular stands out to us though because it set the tone for how the night would go for Toronto.

As an early first period penalty to Mikhail Grabovsky was ending, the puck was cleared into the neutral zone and Grabovsky was off to the races on a three-on-one with Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong. Grabovsky carried into the Caps zone and waited for the right moment to dish off to Bozak on the far side for what should’ve been a slam-dunk goal. Instead, Bozak was stunned and stopped by Holtby with a tremendous post-to-post kick save. See the action for yourself here.

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