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Who will start for Caps in net for Game 3? Barry Trotz knows, but he's not ready to say yet

Who will start for Caps in net for Game 3? Barry Trotz knows, but he's not ready to say yet

Braden Holtby started the third period of Game 2 on Sunday after Philipp Grubauer allowed four goals to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now the question is whether Barry Trotz will stick with Holtby for the start of Game 3 or go back to Grubauer.

When asked after Game 2 if Holtby would start the next game, Trotz declined the answer. In a conference call with the media on Monday, Trotz said he had decided who would start Game 3, but was not ready to reveal it to the media until he talked with the goalies.

Grubauer was critical of his own performance in Game 2, especially for letting in an innocent looking wrister from Zach Werenski at the blue line.

“I don’t think I played that good," Grubauer said. "The last one was on me."

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Trotz was not critical of Grubauer following the game, but he did lament that the team was not able to get a big save when it needed it from the German netminder.

"We just needed that one save, and we weren't able to get it," Trotz said. "Grubi's been fantastic for us — this is not on our goaltending, this is on the whole group, everybody. We win and lose as a group, and we've got to go forward. I put [Holtby] in there, and we'll see where we go from there."

Trotz reiterated Monday that he still has confidence in both netminders, but with a Vezina trophy winning goalie on the bench, it is certainly fair to wonder if Trotz will make the switch for Game 3.

Holtby saved seven of the eight shots he faced after coming in for Grubauer in Game 2. For the majority of the season, he was the Caps' unquestioned starter, but a significant slump in February and March opened the door for Grubauer to take the starting job for the playoffs.

Now with the team in need of a spark, Trotz very well could turn to Holtby in the hopes he can outduel Sergei Bobrovsky and keep the Caps' playoff hopes alive.

RELATED: OVECHKIN PROMISES SERIES WILL RETURN TO DC

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How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

The Washington Capitals bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Nashville Predators, where they gave up four leads in a 6-5 contest, with a commanding 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night to end a three-game losing skid. Now, they welcome the Colarado Avalanche to town Monday night. 

The Avalanche have gotten off to a perfect 4-0 start this season, a record which was preserved in a 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. Ex-Capitals left winger Andre Burakovsky netted the game-winner while goaltender Pavel Francouz stopped 34 of 36 shots. 

Washington's John Carlson notched a goal and an assist while Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second goal of the year in the win against Dallas, while Ilya Samsonov impressed in his second career start in net. He's now stopped 49 of the first 51 shots faced in his young NHL career. The Caps will look for their key contributors to perform against the undefeated visitors.

Here's everything you need to know about Monday evening's game, with the opening face-off coming at 5:00 p.m. live on NBC Sports Washington.  

Capitals vs. Avalanche: How to watch

What: Washington Capitals vs. Colarado Avalanche, Game 7 of the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C. 

When: Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Avalanche game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports channel finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Predators on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

RadioCaps 24/7 Radio

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE TV SCHEDULE

4:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

4:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

5:00 PM: Avalanche @ Capitals Live

7:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

8:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

8:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

Capitals vs. Avalanche Injury Report

Capitals: D Michal Kempny, hamstring injury, day-to-day

Avalanche: C J.T. Compher, lower body, day-to-day; D Ian Cole, hamstring, day-to-day

CAPITALS vs. Avalanche PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Washington Capitals: The defender could make his season debut as he recovers from a hamstring injury. He felt good after an optional practice on Sunday and said if he doesn't play Monday, he'll be back soon enough. His return will bring a boost to the defensive backline for the Caps. 

John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals (2 G, 8 A, 10 Pts): Carlson has been quite the provider from up top on offense, leading the NHL in assists along with points leader Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. Nobody else has more than four assists on the Capitals. 

Andre Burakovsky, LW, Colarado Avalanche (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts): Burakovsky not only scored the game-winner Saturday night against Arizona, but also nothed an assist and had four shots on goal. After spending his first five seasons in the nation's capital, the Avalanche traded second and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward Scott Kosmachuk for his services in June. 

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE SERIES HISTORY 

Number of meetings: 85

All-time series record: Caps lead 44-32-9

Last meeting: Caps won 4-3 (OT) (4/7/19)

Last 10: Caps lead 9-1

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John Carlson reps the Nationals' batting helmet after winning Capitals' 'hard hat' award

John Carlson reps the Nationals' batting helmet after winning Capitals' 'hard hat' award

It's like winning is contagious or something.

Everybody likes to be a part of winning, and that's all the Washington Nationals seem to be able to do lately.

No one has been a bigger supporter of the Nationals' magical postseason run than the Washington Capitals, who have been awarding a Nats' batting helmet to players with standout performances. After a victory on the road in Dallas, John Carlson became the latest Capitals player to don the Curly W.

 

Carlson earned the award after ripping a wrist shot in the second period that put the Caps up 2-0.

He joins rookie defenseman Martin Fehervary and rookie goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov as the team's game-MVPs so far in the season. Fehervary and Samsonov won the helmet after the Capitals' first two victories. 

The award comes at a time when Washington's professional sports teams have rallied around each other. In addition to the hard hat award, the Nationals cheered on the Washington Mystics while flying to St. Louis, as the Mystics won the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

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