It’s a big day for Capitals backup goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Not only did he turn 25 on Friday, but he’s starting against the Sabres – and in front of his parents for the first time as an NHLer.
“They have only watched me at one o’clock in the morning or two o’clock in the morning,” Grubauer said of Peter and Susi, who live in his native Germany. “So it’s actually nice to have them here for Thanksgiving and my birthday.”
Grubauer’s mother came to Washington last season, but Snowzilla kept her from seeing any games.
The start will be Grubauer’s fifth of the season, second at home and first since he worked back-to-back games at Carolina and Columbus earlier this month. He's 2-1-1 with a 2.00 goals against average and a .925 save percentage.
Last season, Grubauer didn’t get his fifth start until mid-December.
“I just wanted to Gruby a home game on the five-game homestand,” Coach Barry Trotz said. "If you just play all the road games, you forget what playing at home [means], too. So we just wanted to mix one of those in, as well.”
In Grubauer previous home start, he produced an 18-save shutout against the Avalanche on Oct. 18.
Trotz also confirmed that Braden Holtby will start in Toronto on Saturday night.