Braden Holtby became the second-fastest goalie to reach 250 career victories when the Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 on Wednesday.
Holtby needed just 409 games to get there. Only Hall of Famer Ken Dryden did it faster (381). Holtby accomplished it before Jacques Plante (430), like Dryden a Hall of Famer who played for Montreal, and multiple-time Stanley Cup champion Chris Osgood (450).
“It’s pretty crazy when you think about it, but I’ve been pretty fortunate to play on some really good teams,” Holtby said. “Wins is a stat that is shared with your whole team and is a consistency thing in the regular season so it shows the commitment we’ve had in this organization. Hopefully we can continue that.”
Over the past six games, Holtby has solidified his game. He has a .921 save percentage with 163 saves on 177 shots. It’s all about ramping up for the playoffs, which start in five weeks. He has started six of Washington’s last seven games.
Only Olie Kolzig (303) has more wins in franchise history. Holtby is 12 wins away from moving into the top-50 all time. At age 29, he has one year left on his contract with the Capitals after this season and it’s unclear what the future holds. Holtby is in the fourth year of a five-year, $30.5 million contract signed in 2015.
But that’s still far enough down the road that the Capitals can focus on defending their Stanley Cup title. Unlike last year, Holtby will be the starter when the playoffs begin the second week of April.
“[Holtby] was great out there and he’s been great for us for so many years,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. “It’s impressive. For us as players we’re so happy for him and for us as players we’re so proud of him and happy for him. Second goalie to reach that milestone. That says it all about him. How important he is for us and the franchise.”
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