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Video: Holtby evokes Hasek, MLB playoffs with sliding gambit

Washington Capitals ' goaltender Braden Holtby stormed out of his net to stop Pittsburgh Penguin Carl Hagelin.

As fantastic as Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is, it feels like he doesn’t generate a ton of Dominik Hasek comparisons.

Generally, it feels more logical to compare him to Martin Brodeur or Henrik Lundqvist: increasingly the NHL’s go-to workhorse goalie. In a league where starts get parceled out to backups more and more, Holtby’s been a rock in net for the Capitals, and his numbers remain strong.

Sometimes talk of being high-level “innings eaters” can make a guy sound boring.

Holtby made sure to remind us that he’s far from bland during tonight’s Capitals - Pittsburgh Penguins game, cutting off speedster Carl Hagelin’s would-be breakaway by sliding down the ice and cutting him off.

The only drawback was that Holtby was whistled for a delay of game minor in the process, to the chagrin of Barry Trotz. Still, that moment was so cool - and the Capitals killed the penalty - that we can bask in its glory.

As an aside: it’s kind of insane how often that works for goalies, right? Then again, if you’re a player breaking away, you’re already worrying about defensemen at your back ... imagine a heavily padded goalie also cutting you off?

(Somewhere, Marian Gaborik is sadly nodding his head.)

The Penguins currently lead Holtby and the Capitals 1-0 after one period. Check it out on NBCSN and stream it here.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.