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End of season review: Braden Holtby


End of season review: Braden Holtby

Throughout the coming weeks, Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Braden Holtby

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

Age: 25 [turns 26 Sept. 16]

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 208

Games: 73

Record: 41-20-10

Goals-against Average: 2.22

Save Percentage: .923

Shutouts: 9

Playoff games: 13

Record: 6-7

Goals-against Average: 1.71

Save Percentage: .944

Shutouts: 1

Contract Status: RFA [2014-15 salary: $2 million; cap hit: $1.85  million]

Strengths: Say what you want about Alex Ovechkin and his Hart-worthy season. Holtby was the biggest reason fans in Washington believed in the Capitals’ chances to win a Stanley Cup this season. Described by head coach Barry Trotz as being the team’s DNA, Holtby answered all of his doubters by having the strongest season of his four-year NHL career. He led all NHL goalie s in games [73] and minutes [4,247], was tied for second in wins [41] and shutouts [9], fourth among starters with 50 or more games in goals-against average [2.22] and tied for sixth in save percentage [.923, 50 or more games]. In the playoffs he was even better, leading all starting goalies with a 1.71 GAA and .944 save percentage. Holtby relies on his anticipation and cat-like reflexes to make the first save, but worked hard with goalie coach Mitch Korn on controlling his rebounds and playing tighter than he had in the past. He also became more judicious and less risky with his puck handling, gaining an unfailing trust from Trotz and his teammates.

Room for improvement: There are times Holtby overplays the puck and tries to make risky stretch passes, but those are few and far between. He also has a tendency to move pucks to his defensemen instead of covering them to take a faceoff, but he improved in that aspect as well.

Memorable Moment:  In Game 3 against the Rangers on May 4, with the series knotted at one win apiece, Holtby made Jay Beagle’s second-period goal stand up as the game-winner by making 30 saves in a 1-0 victory. But his most memorable save of the playoffs came two nights later when, with the Capitals holding a 2-1 lead on the Rangers on the strength of Andre Burakovsky’s two goals, he faced Carl Hagelin on a penalty shot with 8:01 gone in the third period. Hagelin, who earned the penalty shot by getting hauled down by Mike Green, faked a forehand and went to his backhand. Holtby read it the whole way, snatching the puck in his glove.   

Quotable: “Job security is something that doesn’t come around very often in this profession, so if you can find some it’s great. If you don’t have any ties it’s a lot different. But with family you’d like to stay and get to know the community and get involved. So the longer term the better.” – Holtby on pending contract negotiations

2015-16 Expectations:  The biggest question facing the Capitals in the offseason is how long – and for how much – they should sign Holtby. At 25, he has two more seasons before he can become unrestricted and name his own price on the free agent market. So it stands to reason the Caps would want to sign Holtby to a bridge contract of at least four years, with a cap hit in the $5 million range. The dollar value of Holtby’s contract will determine what’s left for fellow restricted free  agents Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson, Nate Schmidt and Philipp Grubauer, along with UFAs Mike Green, Joel Ward, Eric Fehr and Jay Beagle. That’s why Holtby might be the first big domino to fall this summer.


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NHL Playoffs 2019: Capitals at Hurricanes Game 6 How to watch, streaming, TV channel, time

NHL Playoffs 2019: Capitals at Hurricanes Game 6 How to watch, streaming, TV channel, time

After capturing a dominant 6-0 victory over Carolina in a crucial Game 5 Saturday, the Washington Capitals seem to be getting back on track after dropping Games 3 and 4.

Washington now holds a 3-2 series lead and the chance to eliminate the Hurricanes in Game 6 on Monday. However, it'll be difficult to manage as they head back to PNC Arena, where they have yet to capture a victory this postseason.

Here's everything you need to know about Game 6. The puck drops at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

Capitals at Hurricanes Game 6 How to Watch:

What: 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Eastern Conference First Round. Game 6: Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes
Date: Monday, April 22, 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
How To WatchStream pregame and postgame coverage Game 6 of Capitals vs. Hurricanes on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app or tune into NBC Sports Washington.
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan FM)

Don't already have the MyTeams By NBC Sports App? Click to download here and stream the Capitals-Hurricanes live!

Capitals at Hurricanes Game 6 TV Schedule:

NBC Sports Washington Daily TV Listing

NBC Sports Washington TV Schedule:

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Hurricanes
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

Capitals at Hurricanes Game 6 Injury Report:

Capitals: Michal Kempny (torn hamstring, out for season), T.J. Oshie (broken clavicle, out)

Hurricanes: Micheal Ferland (upper-body, out), Jordan Martinook (upper-body, out)

Capitals at Hurricanes Game 6 Players to watch: 

Nicklas Backstrom, F, Capitals (5 G, 3 A, 8 P)

With a four-point night Saturday, Backstrom has proven to be an absolute force and hero in this series. He has five goals in five games against Carolina in this round and is expected to be even better with the stakes raised higher Monday.

Jaccob Slavin, D, Hurricanes (0 G, 5 A, 5 P)

The Hurricanes have their backs against the wall, and Slavin is someone who has to step up. He not only is one of their top blueliners, but he has been able to generate scoring chances with five assists in his last four games. Look out for him Monday.


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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upper hand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.