Holtby denied 28 of 31 shots from the Golden Knights on Thursday to net the Capitals their first ever Stanley Cup Trophy. All of the damage against Holtby came in the second period, but 2016's Vezina Trophy recipient benefited from two goals by his allied skaters in the third frame, and he was resolute in helping his team achieve hockey's pinnacle. Hockey fans won't soon forget that the Capitals went with backup netminder Phillipp Grubauer as the starter for Games 1 and 2 of the conference quarterfinals versus the Blue Jackets, only for Holtby to quickly reclaim the job and finish with a 16-7 record, 2.16 GAA and .922 save percentage in these playoffs. Suffice it to say, he remains an elite backstop.
Holtby is projected to start Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Golden Knights in Vegas, NHL.com reports. The Capitals would have absolutely no reason to suddenly turn to backup netminder Phillipp Grubauer since Holtby has surrendered just five goals over the past three games to put the Capitals one win away from the Stanley Cup. It was an inauspicious start to the Cup finals for Holtbeast as he got shelled for five goals on 33 shots in the series opener, but the Capitals have since gone on an offensive tear by means of averaging four goals per game between the last three. Vegas currently has better odds of winning this next one, but Holtby and Co. will have up to three chances to win hockey's most coveted piece of hardware.
Holtby stopped 28 of 30 shots Monday in a 6-2 win over Vegas in Game 4 to put the Capitals one game away from hoisting the Cup. Holtby was a little lucky in the first two periods, as the Golden Knights hit the post on multiple occasions when a goal could have changed the game. But to his credit, Holtby took advantage of his good fortune and put a stop to the Knights until the game was well in hand. Since his rough Game 1, Holtby has stopped 86 of 91 shots, which is a stellar save percentage of .945 that's put Washington on the brink of its first Stanley Cup.
Holtby will get the starting nod against the Golden Knights for Monday's Game 4 matchup, J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports. Holtby has been nearly unbeatable in his previous two contests, as he logged a 1.50 GAA and .951 save percentage. If the Golden Knights are going to avoid a 3-1 series deficit, they are going to need to find a way to get under the 28-year-old's skin -- whether that means a pesky netfront presence or a high volume of shots remains to be seen.
Holtby stopped 21 shots in a 3-1 win over Vegas on Saturday night. He played a strong game, save for the brain burp that led to the Golden Knights' only goal. Holtby attempted to play the puck behind the net and strangely coughed up a pass almost straight in the slot. And you guessed it, right to a Knight. Otherwise, Holtby was perfect. He's saving his best for just the right time. The Caps now lead the series 2-1.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||61||41||13||3||3530||140||4||2.38||3||392.3|