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Braden Holtby continues to impress in return to Capitals

Braden Holtby continues to impress in return to Capitals

Braden Holtby continued to look sharp in his return to the Capitals as he stopped all but one of the 15 shots he faced in Monday’s shootout win over the Blues.

“I think he’s played quite well considering he hasn’t had the…quantity of shots that he’s normally getting,” Trotz said, referring to Holtby’s less-than-ideal World Cup workload. “And also the game reps that he usually gets with traffic and the concentration over long periods of time.”

RELATED: Instant: Capitals top Blues in preseason shootout

In the 1½ games he’s played since returning from Toronto, where he served Team Canada's No. 3 netminder, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner has stopped 37 of 39 shots against the Islanders and Blues. (He gave way to Philipp Grubauer midway through Monday’s game.)

“It’s great to see,” winger T.J. Oshie said of Holtby’s quick start in the preseason. “One thing about Holts is we’ve just come to expect it. We definitely appreciate it. We like having it. That’s the kind goalie he is. He didn’t win the Vezina for no reason. It was good for him to get in there, see some pucks. He looks great. He’s got that swagger about him again. I’m excited to see how he finishes up the preseason.”

As good as his preseason numbers have looked, though, Holtby says there are some areas he must clean up between now and the regular season opener Oct. 13 against the Penguins.

“There’s been plays where I haven’t sharp, either, they just haven’t gone in the net,” he said. “ Still things that I can work on. Just trying to get back in the swing of things. Guys have been playing really well defensively.”

Asked specifically what he area needs to refine, Holtby said: “Behind the net play, post play, all that stuff. The shots off the rush. Everything, you just have to get a little sharper at. The power play stuff is coming pretty naturally; I got a lot of work on that in practice in Toronto. So that helps. It’s just the other stuff that you can’t practice is the stuff that you need to have games to get better at.”

Holtby said he’s not sure how many of the final three exhibitions he’ll start, but he wants as much playing time as he can get.

“I’d like to play them all,” he said. “But we obviously we both have to get ready for the season ahead, and that’s going to be the goal. And the coaches will figure out the best way to do that.”

MORE CAPITALS: Vrana among eight cuts in Capitals training camp

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Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: 5:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.


The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

USA Today Sports

Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been declared day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury, the Caps announced Saturday afternoon.

He will not play Sunday against the Flyers, marking the first time in four seasons that the durable 25-year-old center will have missed a game.

Kuznetsov, the Caps’ assists leader and first line pivot over the past week, was injured in the second period of Friday’s 6-3 win over the Islanders. On the play, he slashed on the arm by New York defenseman Thomas Hickey before he tumbled awkwardly into the end boards.


Kuznetsov did not return to the contest.

The Caps did not practice on Saturday as they made their way to Philadelphia, where they'll look to extend their winning streak to five games.  

The team, per usual, did not elaborate about the extent or nature of Kuznetsov’s injury. But it does seem to be a good sign that he was not listed as week-to-week—the designation the Caps typically reserve for more severe injuries. And with a two point lead on Pittsburgh in the Metro Division standings—and a game in hand—they can actually afford to be cautious with one of their most important players.


The injury does, however, come at a time when Kuznetsov appeared to be hitting his stride. Including the two assists he had racked up prior to leaving Friday’s game, Kuzy has amassed five goals and 11 assists in 10 games.    

Without Kuznetsov on Sunday, Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle will be the team’s most experienced centers. Travis Boyd and/or Chandler Stephenson figure to be deployed as the fourth pivot.

Coach Barry Trotz is expected to meet with reporters prior to Sunday’s game. It’s possible he’ll shed some more light on Kuznetsov’s outlook at that time.

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