After a tough loss in Dallas where Braden Holtby was pulled and replaced by Phillip Grubauer, the Capitals faced the Los Angeles Kings with Grubauer in net for the Capitals and Jonathan Quick in for the Kings. This was Quick’s first game back after missing the previous three, with a lower body injury. Grubauer played his best game in recent history against a fast and powerful Kings offense.
Anze Kopitar opened up the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the first period, but the capitals would respond with three unanswered goals to grab the W. Despite giving up a shorthanded goal, Phillip kept his head in the game and was a master of rebound control; something that has been a struggle for him this season. The goalies were the stars of the game; Quick stopped 28 of 32 shots while Grubauer stopped 39 of 40 shots.
The season is now just beyond the halfway point and the Capitals aren’t looking back. This season has been a history-making season, not only for the organization, but for the NHL. The Capitals have become the FIRST team to have 40 wins in 53 games in a season and the big reason for that is goalie Braden Holtby. Braden has been playing the season of his career so far with a record of 35-6-3. He is fast approaching 60 games, which is the average number of games played for an NHL goalie before he is relieved by the backup to prepare for the playoffs. With 86 points this season I wouldn’t be surprised to see the number of games in which Holtby starts begin to decrease.
The Capitals next game is Thursday at 7pm against the New York Islanders in New York. The starting goalie has not been announced yet for the Thursday night matchup. I’ll have more to come on Thursday’s game and who will be in net when the Washington Capitals face off against the division rivals they faced in the playoffs last year, the New York Islanders..
Photos By: Brittney Marcum & Mel Abernethy