Apr 6, 2013, 12:50 PM EDT
The Washington Capitals have gone from 30th in the NHL to tying the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Southeast Division despite having played in two fewer games than the Jets.
There have been a lot of players that have stepped up for the Capitals, but perhaps the most critical has been goaltender Braden Holtby.
After his stunning performance in the 2012 playoffs, the 23-year-old netminder struggled initially this season, but has bounced back with a 2.19 GAA and .929 save percentage in his last 18 starts.
At the same time, he’s proven himself as a workhorse.
“He always want the ball,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said of Holtby, according to CSN Washington. “I haven’t seen him not want the ball yet. That’s a great character in a player.”
Holtby has started in 24 of Washington’s last 27 games, although Michal Neuvirth might get a start on Sunday for the first time since March 16.
For his part, Holtby downplayed his importance.
“We go as a unit,” Holtby said. “Your goaltender is only as good as your team, and your team is only as good as your goaltender. It’s never a case of one guy is the show. We go as a group and that’s why we win games.”
If they keep winning games like this, they will be in a great position to complete their comeback and secure the third seed.
- Canadiens push Lightning to brink of elimination with 3-2 win 18
- WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks (Game 2) 0
- Bruins handle Red Wings 4-1, tie series 1-1 37
- Flyers overcome two-goal deficit to finally win at MSG 58
- NHL suspends Seabrook three games for charging into Backes 90
- MacKinnon, Avs shine against Wild, take 2-0 series lead 25
- Video: Roenick says MacKinnon is more dominant at 18 than Crosby was 28
- Blue Jackets gain first-ever playoff win, tie series with Penguins 1-1 49
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) 136
- WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins (Game 2) 4
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (136)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (116)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (91)
- NHL suspends Seabrook three games for charging into Backes (90)