Braden Holtby is expected to make his third start of the preseason Friday night in Raleigh, where the Capitals face the Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Watch it on CSN at 7:30 p.m.
Here’s the rest of Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom-less lineup (based on the morning skate):
A few notes:
*Holtby is expected to go the distance, while Philipp Grubauer backs him up. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 1-0-0 with a .949 save percentage and a 1.30 goals against average. So, yeah, he’s picked up right where he left off last season.
*Sanford is back on the wing after centering the third line in Kansas City on Wednesday night. With Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle occupying center spots 1-4, the fact that Coach Barry Trotz keeps trying Sanford on the wing suggests that they’re intent on finding a spot in the lineup for the Boston College product. He has a goal and five shots on net in three contests.
*With only one exhibition left (Sunday against the Islanders), there are some forwards who are still searching for their first point of the preseason. Among them are Brett Connolly (four games), Stanislav Galiev (three) and Brad Malone (two). With Sanford in good position to snag a spot on the 23, space is indeed getting tight.