Skip to content

Holtby’s been key in Capitals’ surge

Apr 6, 2013, 12:50 PM EST

Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals defends his goal as the puck goes wide on a shot by Chris Kreider #24 of the New York Rangers during the shootout in an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2013 in New York City. Capitals won 3-2 in a shootout.
(March 23, 2013 - Source: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Red Wings’ youth shines vs. Isles for ninth win in 11th games

    Jan 31, 2015, 4:47 PM EST

    Gustav Nyquist, Thomas Hickey, Matt Martin, Justin Abdelkader AP

    Detroit is forcing itself into the Stanley Cup conversation.

  2. Price leads Habs past Caps with second straight shutout

    Jan 31, 2015, 4:08 PM EST

    Jay Beagle, Carey Price, Andrei Markov AP

    Montreal has put pressure on Tampa Bay in the battle for the Eastern Conference lead.

  3. Horton shows some improvement, future remains cloudy

    Jan 31, 2015, 2:48 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    He has a degenerative back injury that might lead to career-ending surgery.

  4. Goalie nods: Smith gets shot at revenge vs. Senators

    Jan 31, 2015, 1:56 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators v Arizona Coyotes Getty Images

    He gave up five goals against them on Jan. 10.

  5. This will be a milestone night for several Flyers

    Jan 31, 2015, 12:57 PM EST

    Jakub Voracek Getty Images

    Meanwhile Philadelphia will try to win its fourth straight game.

  6. Red Wings, Islanders face off in unlikely battle for the East

    Jan 31, 2015, 11:57 AM EST

    Jaroslav Halak, Pavel Datsyuk AP

    They’ve surpassed the early season expectations.

  7. Bettman willing to consider making cap data public

    Jan 31, 2015, 10:11 AM EST

    Gary Bettman AP

    But he seems very reluctant on the matter.

  8. Kane, Sharp lead Blackhawks over Ducks

    Jan 31, 2015, 2:00 AM EST

    Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane

    Anaheim has now lost two straight in regulation for the first time since November.

  9. Miller sends ex-Buffalo mates to 14th straight loss

    Jan 31, 2015, 1:15 AM EST

    Carolina Hurricanes v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Sabres conclude January with an 0-12-0 record.

  10. Video: Jarome Iginla records his 1,200th NHL point

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:35 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators v Colorado Avalanche Ottawa Senators v Colorado Avalanche

    He’s now tied with Dino Ciccarelli on the all-time points list.

  11. Video: Despres’ OT winner lifts the Pens over the Devils

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:00 PM EST

    Simon Despres Getty Images

    Kris Letang has assisted on Pittsburgh’s last seven goals.

  12. Blackhawks plan on keeping Darling in the mix

    Jan 30, 2015, 9:30 PM EST

    Chicago Blackhawks v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    He’s a restricted free agent after this season.

  13. Leafs won’t turn to prospect William Nylander for help

    Jan 30, 2015, 8:45 PM EST

    William Nylander William Nylander

    The 18-year-old is playing in his 3rd career AHL game tonight.

  14. Canes’ Khudobin yanked after allowing 2 goals on 3 shots

    Jan 30, 2015, 8:00 PM EST

    Carolina Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin (31) takes a break during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker) AP

    Was 6-0-0 in his previous seven appearances entering tonight.

Featured video

Kings come back in third to top Blackhawks
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (3631)
  2. S. Crosby (3031)
  3. T. Hall (2861)
  4. P. Rinne (2613)
  5. M. Brodeur (2545)
  1. C. Price (2492)
  2. K. Letang (2476)
  3. T. Johnson (2457)
  4. M. Richards (2276)
  5. P. Hornqvist (2262)