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Braden Holtby gets the start in Washington’s biggest game of the year

Braden Holtby

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby squirts his water bottle during a timeout in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, March 25, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


When Tomas Vokoun signed with the Caps in the offseason, games like tonight’s tilt with the Sabres that sees the winner take control of the final playoff spot in the East are the kind that he was brought in to play.

Thanks to a nagging injury, however, Vokoun won’t be playing and the starting duties instead fall to 22-year-old Braden Holtby. As Chuck Gormley from hears from Holtby, he’s fired up to get at it tonight.

“It’s a big game but at the same time it’s just another one,” said Holtby who is 2-1-1 for the Capitals this season, including a 3-0 shutout over Minnesota on Sunday. “It counts as two points, just like all the others do. You’ve got to go into it with that mindset, but there will be a little extra motivation to have the team going and get a win.”

The added motivation is to make sure the scorching hot Sabres don’t go sprinting past them and into the playoffs while the Caps are left to keep clawing away to keep up with them and the Ottawa Senators.

For Holtby, he’s seen pressure games before in the AHL helping Hershey to win a Calder Cup in 2010. It’s just a little different on the NHL stage though and this is as close to a playoff game as he’s going to see. No pressure, kid.