Holtby was replaced by Philipp Grubauer to start the third period Saturday. Holtby allowed three goals on just 14 shots before getting yanked. That makes six goals allowed on just 32 shots over the first two games of Washington's playoff series against Pittsburgh.
Holtby will start at home in Saturday's Game 2 against the Penguins, CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. This is not a surprise, as barring an injury Holtby was always likely to get the start. Following a postseason loss, Holtby has posted a 1.92 GAA and a .933 save percentage in his career. The Penguins did finish the regular season with the best goals-per-game average, so it won't be easy, but it wouldn't be a shock to see Holtby bounce back at home.
Holtby stopped 18 shots in Thursday's 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Penguins. Less than five minutes after his team finally dug out of the hole created by a pair of early second-period Sidney Crosby goals, Holtby surrendered the third-period winner to Nick Bonino. Holtby's .857 save percentage tied for his worst mark of the postseason while lowering his total through seven games to .919. There's nothing wrong with a .919 save percentage, but that number pales in comparison to the 27-year-old's .935 career postseason mark.
Holtby will get the starting nod against the Penguins on Thursday, JJ Regan of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Holtby faced a lot of rubber in the first round -- 213 shots -- and will likely continue to see a heavy workload, as the Pens averaged 34.2 in their five-game series against Columbus and lead the playoffs with 4.20 goals per contest. There are no easy matchups in the hunt for Lord Stanley's Cup, but Holtby has drawn one of the more difficult ones.
Holtby stopped 37 of 38 shots in Sunday's series-clinching Game 6 overtime victory over the Leafs. Holtby was simply outstanding on the night, paving the way for Marcus Johansson to strike in the extra frame and eliminate the Leafs from the playoffs. The netminder was exploited at times earlier in the round, but he really shut the door in back-to-back victories to close out the series. Holtby has a noted history of being a playoff performer and he lived up to that reputation on Sunday. The 27-year-old will have his hands full with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in Round 2, but if there is anyone capable of shutting down some of the NHL's biggest stars, it's Holtby.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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