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Philipp Grubauer remains the starter for Game 2

Philipp Grubauer remains the starter for Game 2

The Caps are sticking with goalie Philipp Grubauer for Game 2, Coach Barry Trotz announced following Saturday's practice.

Grubauer allowed four goals on 27 shots in Washington’s 4-3 overtime loss to Columbus Thursday. Afterward Trotz said he needed to “reevaluate” the goals that were permitted and talk things over with his assistants before naming a starter for Sunday’s pivotal game on home ice.

“I thought he was fine,” Trotz said following an hour-long session at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “There was nothing in that game that you’d say, ‘why [don’t] you make a change?’”

RELATED: CAPS' INJURY UPDATE FOR GAME 2

Two of the three goals Grubauer allowed in regulation were scored on the power play. And Artemi Panarin’s overtime winner? That was a world-class shot by a world-class sniper.  

“Going into overtime, you’re a shot or a breakaway away,” Trotz said. “All that being said, it was a special play by Panarin. There’s very few people who can make that shot. And he made that shot.”

It was a difficult defeat for a team that was desperate to get off to a strong start in its own building. But this ‘L’ wasn’t about goaltending. It was about taking pointless penalties at the wrong time—and the Blue Jackets taking advantage of those avoidable miscues.

In fact, one could argue that Grubauer was the Caps' best player in the second period as Panarin and Co. peppered him with high-quality scoring opportunities.

MORE CAPITALS: SEE THE FULL CAPS-BLUE JACKETS SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

As much of a gut-punch as the loss was, however, Grubauer said he and his teammates must turn the page. And quickly.

“You've got to be able to do that because nobody's walking through to the Stanley Cup with no losses,” he said. “You lose one and you learn from that and maybe you guys realize, ‘OK we've got to do something different.’”

Grubauer added: “It's not as easy as it is in the regular season. It basically is like an overtime game in the regular season for 60 minutes. That's what it is. When you lose a game—you want to win the game—but you've got to learn from it and you've got to take some positives out. In order to be better, you need to see the negatives and you need to make mistakes and hopefully get better and learn from it.”

Sure, Grubi's .852 save percentage in Game 1 sounds ugly. But there were mitigating circumstances on each of the goals. And, based on Trotz’s comments, it doesn’t sound like there was a whole lot of hand-wringing as the coaches reviewed the tape and mulled whether to go back to Grubauer or make a change and start Braden Holtby.

“I’m going to go back with Grubi,” Trotz said flatly. “I have a lot of confidence in him.”

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How does Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov get ready for a Game 7? He watches TV

How does Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov get ready for a Game 7? He watches TV

Everyone remembers Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-clinching overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018. That goal now overshadows another series-clinching goal Kuznetsov had in 2015. In Game 7 against the New York Islanders, Kuznetsov scored what would prove to be the winning goal to break up a 1-1 tie. Clearly he knows how to get ready for a big game. His secret? Television.

Kuznetsov appeared on NBC Sports Washington's Capitals Greatest Hits show on Monday to talk about his 2015 performance and the topic of the locker room came up. Both teams went into that game knowing their season was on the line and Kuznetsov was asked if the feeling was any different in the locker room before the game, a question he did not know exactly how to answer.

"I'm never in the locker room," Kuznetsov said. "I'm always by the TV watching TV shows."

Yes, when Kuznetsov arrives at the arena, he apparently likes to watch TV before the game and said he is not in the locker room until only about 30 minutes before warmups. He enjoys watching soccer, but also likes a good movie.

"It's usually soccer games," Kuznetsov said. "If it's not the soccer game, it's whatever the movie's going."

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He went on to say he was thankful for the team subscribing to whatever channel it was that he watches movies on.

If this seems odd to you, there is a method to the madness.

"Usually it's movie because that way I'm not thinking about hockey," Kuznetsov said. "I like to be loose before games."

Hey, if that's what he was doing before Game 7 in 2015 and before Game 6 in 2018, it's hard to argue against it.

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Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

Capitals Greatest Hits: How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's series-winning goal

In need of Memorial Day plans? Look no further as NBC Sports Washington presents the fifth and final edition of Capitals Greatest Hits on Monday, May 25, at 7 p.m. 

For this holiday edition of Capitals Greatest Hits, NBC Sports Washington will reair Game 7 of the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round playoff series between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. 

As a special treat, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who delivered the series-winning goal for the Caps, will make a special appearance on the broadcast to talk about his Game 7 heroics from the win-or-go-home showdown.

What better way to cap off a holiday weekend than by reliving some Caps playoff glory with The Birdman himself?

How to Watch: Capitals’ Greatest Hits

Who: New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals — April 27, 2015

When: May 25 at 7 p.m.

Where: NBC Sports Washington (channel finder), stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app

Guest: Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov

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Broadcast Schedule

6:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Thrashers from March 21, 2008 (R)

7:00 PM Capitals Greatest Hits Capitals vs Islanders from April 27, 2015 (P)

8:00 PM 2018 Stanley Cup Championship Films: Washington Capitals (P)

10:00 PM #HockeyAtHome: The Great One & The Great Eight (R)

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