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Kolzig thinks Holtby will recover from 3OT loss

Braden Holtby

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 2: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals makes a save during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers on May 2, 2012 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

Olie Kolzig knows a thing or two about lengthy overtime games. After Braden Holtby started in Washington’s 2-1 triple-overtime defeat on Wednesday, Kolzig is the only goaltender to play in a longer contest with the Capitals. In fact, before Kolzig retired, he participated in the two longest postseason contests in Washington’s history.

Kolzig says the emotional impact of losing such a game is significantly worse than the physical toll. At the same time, Kolzig believes that Holtby is capable of putting the loss behind him.

“What really impresses me most about him in the playoffs is his resiliency,” Kolzig said. “Whether he gives up a bad goal or has a bad game, he’ll come back and make that next big save or he’ll come back and win the next game.

“He’s gone 25 games now without losing back-to-back, so he’ll get tested with that again on Saturday. The mental toughness, the resiliency and the calmness -- it’s been impressive to watch.”

Holtby has transformed from a promising prospect to a proven starter over the Capitals’ playoff run. He lost two overtime games in the first round and each time he responded with a great performance in his very next match.

The fact that Wednesday’s contest lasted so much longer than his previous defeats will be a factor, but it should help that Game 4 of the series is scheduled for Saturday.